As a vegetarian, most would assume that I have made the choice just not to eat meat (ie- any physical part of an animal). However, meat is not the only thing limited from a vegetarian diet, as many of the lollies found on our supermarket shelves contain an ingredient made from such parts of pigs or cows including the skin, bones and connective tissue – which you can see labeled as ‘gelatine’.
This ingredient can be found in most lollies, marshmallows, and sometimes even pre-made cakes, some ice-cream, and cosmetics, used as a gelling agent within the products. Yet most people just think that a vegetarian or vegan chooses to just avoid animal products such as meat or dairy – that’s how little we know about what really goes into these foods.
I thought that this meant as a vegetarian, I would either need to cut out lollies, or switch to a vegan alternative, as gelatine was a necessity to make the products. I soon found out that not all lollies contain the collagen of an animal.
I discovered that the lollies, ‘Sour Patch Kids’ contain no gelatine at all, and taste just the same as any other sweet on the market. Meaning that gelatine is not compulsory to make a tasty treat! (I have included a link below from Animals Australia, which contains a great list of all the cruelty free lollies that a sold in Australia)
So if this particular ingredient isn’t needed in lollies, surely we can stop using it? If one company doesn’t need gelatine to produce confectionery, then other companies have the ability to do the same.
I know it’s a dream to think that we as a future society will live on a plant based diet (a dream I will continue to support), however I wish to see a world where our remaining food or cosmetic items are completely cruelty free!
So the answer is vegetarians need to be mindful of what ingredients they are consuming. Can lollies be made without using gelatine and animal collagen – yes, and it’s up to us as consumers to help make that happen!