If I had a quarter for every time I asked this question (internally, of course), I would have the funds to buy all of the chia seeds that I wanted. I have a pretty good handle on what is and isn’t veg-friendly at this point (see some of my previous posts!) but there are still some ingredients that are just plain mysterious. And there has to be an easier way to decipher the ingredients on the food label, right?
I did a lot of reading of “Main Street Vegan” today and in her book, Moran talks about certain applications that vegetarians and vegans can use to locate veg-friendly restaurants, find new recipes and more. How had this not already occurred to me?!
A simple search on the iOS or Android app store of “vegan” will yield an abundance of really cool results ranging from free digital magazines, recipe databases, restaurant finders and more. I found two great applications:
- Is It Vegan?
Available on iOS (I’m actually not sure about Android…definitely check), this free app prompts you to simply search any given brand of any given food item to find out how vegan the contents are. To make your life even easier, just scan the bar code of the product and watch the little green meter point accordingly — you want it to be on “V” for vegan. After you scan an item, it’ll tell you how vegan-friendly your product is and tell you if any of the ingredients are in question and why. For example, the mono- or diglycerides in some foods might be animal, not plant, derived. How easy is that? It is going to revolutionize the way I grocery shop.
Also free on the iOS app store (again, check availability on the Android market), Animal-Free is a comprehensive list of every single ingredient you could ever possibly have a question about. Simply search the ingredient you are curious about and it will tell you whether it is animal or plant derived (red for animal, green for plant) and exactly where the product comes from on the plant/animal organism. Knowledge is power with this handy app. You can also search foods or scan them like you can with “Is it Vegan?” but I found that it was clunky and only scanned properly about 30 percent of the time.
Happy iPhone + happy vegan + happy grocery shopper + happy blogger = Happy Danielle. I am excited about these tools, indeed. I hope you give them a chance, too.
As for an update about “Main Street Vegan,” I am more than halfway through! Venturing through the world of animal products/testing used in fashion, cosmetics and cleaning products, I am truly seeing how veganism isn’t just a dietary switch but a lifestyle change that benefits the world in ways we never could have anticipated. Those chapters were especially hard to get through but Moran handles the subject with grace, tact and sensitivity.
Plan to finish it this weekend and have a little book report for you guys!
I’m going out with some friends tonight and have a great little post planned for tomorrow about veganism and alcohol — don’t miss out!
Happy Thursday! Hang in there!