Community: Forum: Vegetarian Discussion

Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Hi, I've been an ova-lacto vegetarian for 6 years now but every once in awhile I'll accidentally eat something that has meat in it. Many of those times I have been able to taste the meat products. Most recently my boyfriend bought a steam bag of corn and didn't read the ingredients. I took a few bites and just knew that it wasn't vegetarian friendly, like little alarm bells going off in my head. Sure enough, the sauce contained gelatin.
But today I went to a Chinese restaurant and asked them to make their usual sauce without the chicken broth, and they assured me that all the other ingredients were vegetarian (including the oyster sauce). But when I get the food and look at it and taste it, the alarm bells go off. The sauce seems too jiggly and it has that blah fatty taste that meat sauces do.
I decided to raise a fuss (though politely and quietly) but the host insisted that his cook had not made a mistake (he did not ask the cook).
But what I'm wondering is, can other people tell when their food has meat products? Are there ways to know just by looking and tasting it, or do you have to read the ingredients?
I don't know if I was just being paranoid today, but I'd like to find out. Thanks for any input.

Responses (5)

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    Posted by shala at 11/14/09 15:25:19

    ovo-lacto, sorry

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    Posted by keevegan at 12/11/09 16:39:25

    generally, I would say no. I have been vegan for 8 years and veg for 15. While I could definitely notice a chunk of meat in my meal, there have been times where I have been suspicious eating certain items that "just didn't taste right" But ingredients are vast and how different people use them is even wider. I am always very careful to ask for specifically what i want when dining away from my own kitchen, but it is hard to truly confirm the ingredients used elsewhere- if I am suspicious and it bothers me, I just don't eat it- but I would probably not really know for sure. And I am sure I have happily eaten things I thought were perfectly vegan that were not and never second guessed it.

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    Posted by Chia at 12/14/09 22:41:57

    Yes, I can tell if if there is MEAT in my food, but not if it's ingredients like whey, gelatin, and such. Those are harder to detect as they blend in.

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    Posted by savagejane at 01/20/10 23:05:56

    My mom is very sensitive, like you. She can tell if the Thai place put anything fishy(or other animal)in the food
    and the few times when instructions have been lost in translation, my mom has nearly vommited. She immediatly knows. It has been confirmed every time. She rarely eats out now.

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    Posted by AndyT at 07/01/10 05:19:48

    Meat - yes, I'd notice that, gelatin, however most likely not (there are some vegan substitutes with similar characteristics).

    So you simply have to trust the restaurant you go to...

    Best regards and good luck,

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