Thursday, March 9, 2017

Day 9: Accidentally Vegan

Some of the foods I've purchased specifically say "Vegan" or contain the happy little V on them to denote that they are vegan.  These are foods created specifically to be vegan.  Some vegetarian products can also be vegan, but usually they have both marked on the packaging.  I've looked at some vegetarian burgers only to discover that they have egg in them, but those spring rolls only say vegetarian when they are also vegan.

See "Happy little V" It looks like plant while the vegetarian designation just looks kinda sad.

Other foods are designed to be Kosher or Halal.  The bacon bits are Kosher and contain the U symbol on the packaging.  Since keeping kosher involves avoiding milk and milk products mixing with meat, then some of these foods are also vegan.  They are accidentally vegan.  In other words, the manufacturer never intended them to be vegan, but they are anyway. It's important to note while some of these Kosher products don't contain meat, bugs, or dairy, they will sometimes contain egg so you have to read the ingredient list if you are using kosher products as another way to shop.  My pretzels also don't say they are vegetarian or vegan, but they have a U on them.  A quick glance at the ingredient list shows that they are vegan.  Just so you know the U is the Orthodox Union's designation.  There are other Kosher designations including one with flag thingy and a the letter K which I've seen (KofK). They are just different organizations giving their particular stamp of Kosher approval. Wikipedia has several articles about keeping Kosher and food symbols, but this one I thought was interesting because it mentions how being Kosher is different than vegan when it comes to food products. So if I managed to confuse you, it should help.

See the U next to "flavored" on the bac'n pieces and the U next the "net" on the pretzels.  I bet you thought it was some sort of trademark symbol.  Nope.  It denotes that it's Kosher.  Gold star if you start looking through your cabinets and declare "hey this is Kosher."

Halal doesn't have the same dietary restrictions as Jews.  They eat dairy with meat and bugs are fine.  There are no Halal alcohols while there are Kosher ones. The similarity is in how the meat is slaughtered.  So finding a food product that's vegan and Kosher is more likely than Halal and vegan.

Then there are products with no such markings of any kind.  Oreos are vegan.  So are oriental roman noodles and teddy grahams, some crackers, and some breads.  You can read through the ingredient list and discover that there isn't honey, meat, eggs, or dairy in any of them.  If you call the company, they won't claim to be vegan because they make some of the products on the same machines as other products that do contain dairy.  Therefore it's easy to transfer minute bits of dairy to the product even if it doesn't actually have it in the ingredient list.  Some companies will actually warn you of this on the packaging because they don't want allergic reactions.  It's up to the individual vegan how strict they want to be about this.

I know that you're probably like "Not another vegan post.  I think I'd rather gouge my eyes out.  Wasn't this supposed to be about religion or something?"  In fairness I am talking about keeping Kosher and that's sort of the jumping off point where Christians get their fasting practices.

But, you'd be right. I haven't really discussed Christian fasting practices...yet. I'm setting up a contrast between veganism and how Eastern Catholics or the Orthodox fast.  So the next set of posts are going to be about their fasting practices and how I'm doing it.   Since I've set up the vegan end, the next post will be discussing the fasting practices of Eastern Catholics.  So stick around....

What I ate today:
Breakfast: overnight oats and black berries

Lunch: bagel with hummus, spinach, and tomato.  1 orange and yogurt

Because it was a day in which I needed to be in two places at once (both kids were dismissed at noon), I packed my lunch.  Ordinarily I go to Bible study across town on Thursdays so it's normally okay to get back home for lunch, but not today.  And when I say across town, I mean that.  I come the furthest away from anyone.  My local parish has Bible study for moms (and non-moms. there's actually a lot of them) but the one for moms is in the evening which takes away from family time.  This one across town is during the day. 

Snack: not pictured black berries and pretzel

Dinner: Leftover lo mein, and spring rolls
It didn't taste so great warmed up.  So this is one I'll have to portion out so less chance of leftovers.

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