Food & Nutrition

12 Foods You Always Thought Were Vegan—But Aren’t

With manufacturers looking out for cheaper ingredients, animal products are increasingly finding their way into foods you thought were safe.


Red wine pouring into a wine glass.sama_ja/Shutterstock

“Vegan friendly” isn’t just a label that some wine companies slap on their bottles to appeal to animal lovers—most vino is actually hiding some sneaky animal products. Wine tends to look murky unless it’s had a lot of time for the sediment to settle, so winemakers speed up the process by adding ingredients called “fining agents” to make reds and whites as clear as the crystal they’re poured in. Companies usually use egg whites, milk proteins, gelatin, or substances called isinglass, derived from fish swim bladders according to Wine Enthusiast. Vegan winemakers either skip the fining agents altogether or substitute bentonite clay for the animal products.


Two Glasses of Beer on a bar table. Beer Tap on backgroundAleksandar Karanov/Shutterstock

More of a beer person? Most beers are vegan-friendly, but not all make the cut. Like wines, beers need fining agents to make the product shelf-ready. Most breweries have good enough filters that they can skip the weird ingredients, but some still use the traditional route, using gelatin and isinglass. Search for your favorite beer on to make sure yours doesn’t contain animal products. Classic Guinness gets the green light, for instance, while Guinness Porter isn’t confirmed vegan (yet). If you’re overwhelmed by the rules, read these 12 expert tips for becoming vegan.

Refried beans

Homemade Refried Pinto Beans with Chiips and LimeBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Refried beans aren’t necessarily a vegan-friendly protein for your Mexican dinner. Some brands, like Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans, contain hydrogenated lard. And as a quick refresher, lard is just another word for pig fat.

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