Monday, July 18, 2011

Vegan HQ Border Control

Here are Vegan HQ we like to keep out house free from non-vegan food items as much as possible.  This policy is essentially in our name, VEGAN HQ.  Border control is something we take seriously.
Do you know how hard it is to find a good border control photo online without getting right wing rubbish?  Even this is from the website of a convservative Christian who refers to the US president as Barack Hussein Obama...

Despite out best attempts, sometimes things get through the front door and into the house.  Mostly they are due just to honest mistakes.  I mean, getting an understanding of all the silly names food manufacturers give to animal products can require a PhD in food science.  

I know what you're thinking.  Is Dr. D a scientist or a chef.  And if you're not, you haven't spent enough time at Dosa Plaza.

The other day I came home and noticed a fruit pie package sticking out of the overflowing rubbish bin in the kitchen.  I was excited.  A new unhealthy vegan treat option!  Or so I thought.  I had a quick look at the ingredients, and at first glance it looked vegan.  But then I looked again.

Once upon a time I'm certain there was a frozen apple pie that was vegan in the supermarkets.  Does it still exist?  Not in this form anyway.

Instantly my dreams of hot apple pie and soy ice cream after a busy day of lectures or clinicals was dashed.  TALLOW.  When I first went vegan almost all the soaps on the market in NZ were made from tallow, so the word was heavy on the minds of all vegans.  These days that isn't the case, and one could easily enter into the world of veganism without even hearing the term.  But tallow general means beef fat, or mutton fat.  An innocent yet gross mistake was made and animal fats made their way into Vegan HQ as a result of confusing documentation.

3 strikes and you lose your vegan powers.

Another animal-product made it's way into Vegan HQ today, this time going unconsumed before detection.  And it wasn't paid for either, it was a free give-away that was sent to us in the mail.
New improved recipe needs one minor improvement.  The removal of all the chicken deaths.

As a hungry student, at first I was excited.  Uncle Ben's express rices actually do come in a few animal-friendly flavours.  And when I first scanned the ingredients again I was filled with a little bit of hope that I might not have to go shopping to eat this afternoon.  The only possible ingredient I could see on the list was 'natural flavours', which strictly speaking is about as vague as you can get without just saying 'stuff that has taste'.  So I did what any good vegan would do.  I called the company to find out for sure.  

Do you still count as a customer when you haven't bought anything?

The conversation went like this:
"Hello, Uncle Ben's customer service, how can I help?"
"Uh, yes, hi.  I just received some Uncle Ben's Express rice in the mail for free.  And as everyone in our household is vegan I just wanted to check the ingredients to see if there are any animal products in this sample."
"Sure, what flavour have you got sir?"
"Ah, ironically Savoury Chicken Flavour.  But it doesn't clearly list whether it has animals in it or not."
"Oh, I'm sorry the natural flavour includes real chickens."
"I see.  But it doesn't say that clearly on the ingredients."
"Yes, there is real chicken in the natural flavour."
"Okay.  I guess I'll be throwing this out then.  Uhm, so the next thing, could you please not send us animals in the mail again please?  It doesn't please us."

Things to look forward to now that I'm back at university:
Posts while procrastinating on assignments
Less posts in general from me
Posts about vegan options I have when I'm at AUT campus on the Shore
And I'm guessing posts about the vegan options I have when I'm on my clinical in the hospital

1 comment:

  1. Haha "Being vegan just makes you better than most people" I love that scene in Scott Pilgrim.