Navigating the Ingredient List

College has a way, especially at the beginning of the semester, especially at a selective Liberal Arts school, of making you feel like you are are constantly two steps behind in a never-ending game of catch-up. Confession: I made “Blog!!!!” an item on my to-do list for tonight (you know it’s bad when you have one for every day, not just for the week) so I wouldn’t forget or write it off (pun intended).

I won’t let that deter me from sharing another awesome tool I found this morning with you guys!

I have to make another trip to the grocery store tomorrow — just for some produce that I’m out of — and I reflected on how much easier vegan grocery shopping has become just three trips in. This does pose a question: what if I don’t know what an ingredient is on a list?

First, take a deep breath. You’re human! This is normal.

As a vegan and eating plant-based foods, you’re naturally going to avoid chemically processed/treated foods just by default. I’ve stressed it before but I can’t overstate it: always read the food label. If you find yourself in the predicament (and you inevitably will) where you look at an ingredient list and it looks like a mad chemist’s notebook, you might have some reservations about how vegan the ingredients are.

Cue Vegetarian Resource Group… again.

Check out their FAQs on what constitutes a vegan or vegetarian ingredient and then their quick and dirty (but rather comprehensive and immensely helpful) list about any ingredient you could ever want to know about.

After ten years of vegetarianism, I have somewhat mastered this list, but you can never be too careful as a vegan. Cool stuff, no?

Happy eating, guys!


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