Friday, August 8, 2008

incidental milk

one of the great things about being a vegan is how i have developed an appreciation for reading labels. i'm much more connected to the foods i eat and less likely to shovel food in without thinking. however, once label reading is done and the food item is in the clear then it's all over for the food product that is in front of me. hello there my delicious little cookie!

there are a multitude of ingredients that vegans need to look out for. some are really obvious: meat, eggs, milk, and lard. then there are the pesky chemical components that look innocent, but are really that are animal derived. then there's the feeling of elation reading an ingredient list hungry as hell, thinking it's okay, then seeing the last ingredient:

*item contains incidental milk

i encountered this debacle while trying to find a vegan dark chocolate at the grocery store. i don't want to have to go to the co-op to buy a single choco bar that costs $2! i felt like i was the butt of some cruel joke as i carefully read each bag. i'd get excited--feeling like i had just had winning lotto numbers read on tv, then to get to the last number and find out it didn't match. what the hell is incidental milk? even my spouse was stumped. i ended up getting the Kroger brand chocolate chips which are both cheap and vegan.

last time i checked, food items either had milk in them or they didn't. incidental milk doesn't make any friggin' sense. it's like being 'sorta' pregnant.

and (((insert whiny voice here)))WHY, WHY, WHY does everything have to have cheese on it? sometimes i wonder if i'm going to wake up and the world will be covered in the stuff, which might be my husband's dream come true--but a living hell for me next to the nightmare i had about ted nugent the night before last. since making the transition, i've noticed how horribly reliant i've been on cheese. no wonder so many americans have super-high cholesterol. if something didn't taste good, i'd just drown it in cheese sauce or ranch dressing. i've been missing out on other flavors of food. now that my tastebuds aren't plagued by dairy, it's like i've been given a super power. ever heard the TMBG song "john lee supertaster"? that's me, well except in a good way. i know that real supertasters have a hard time eating anything. in fact, i'm happily tasting some awesome green chili sauce right now, sitting in a chair in southern Indiana, from a cafe all the way in Taos, New Mexico, and my mouth ain't even open.

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