Though I am not strictly vegan, many of my friends are. I also have a friend who’s highly allergic to dairy. Because of this, I’ve recently learned that quite a few packaged foods you would never dream have dairy in them actually do.
Here are five of the most surprisingly not-vegan snacks I’ve come across:
1. Garden of Eatin sweet potato tortilla chips — Sweet potato chips are most definitely vegan, right? Ha! Garden of Eatin’ laughs in the face of your logic! Though most of its corn, bean and grain tortilla chip lines are vegan, the sweet potato tortilla chips contain “natural flavors with milk.” The guacamole chips also contain milk.
2. Blue Diamond almond nut thins — Blue Diamond’s line of “nut thin” crackers are delicious, low-sodium, wheat-free and gluten-free … but not dairy free. In addition to rice flour, almonds, potato starch and expeller-pressed safflower oil, Blue Diamond’s almond crackers are also made with “natural butter flavor” that contains milk. Same for the hazelnut and pecan crackers (the only kind that are vegan are the “smokehouse” flavored nut thins).
3. Go Veggie! lactose-free cheese — Though Go Veggie! processed cheese slices are lactose-free (and therefore cool for people with lactose intolerances), they are not vegan. Different flavors have different ingredients, but all contain casein, a type of milk protein, and some also contain lactic acid, cheese cultures and cream. Go Veggie! does offer a line of vegan cheeses; look for the purple packaging.
4. Planter’s peanuts — Some brands of roasted nuts, including Planter’s peanuts, contain gelatin. Manufacturers use this to get salt and seasonings to stick.
5. Worcestershire sauce — Apparently this is pretty commonly known, but I was unaware until recently that worcestershire sauce is made with anchovies. Annie’s Naturals, however, makes a really great vegan worcestershire sauce.