Truth About… Gelatin

Truth about… Warning: It’s never my intention to ruin someone’s experience with food. If “we are what we eat” we should be aware of who we are and what we’re eating. This portion of the blog will focus on non-vegan food items that you may think twice about consuming. So if you want to be conscious about what you’re consuming, this is the portion of the blog you want to read. If you want to continue to eat for taste without an understanding of what you’re consuming…stop reading now!


I sat hanging out with my cousin, telling her about a delicious looking recipe I saw on TV that I wanted to try. It involved Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies (Vegan friendly!!!) and marshmallows! Sounds delicious, right? Well, my cousin kindly informed me that marshmallows were not vegan because they are made with gelatin. Someone told her gelatin was made from the collagen in pigs.

Well it turns out, she’s right! Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water. It is usually obtained from cows or pigs. Gelatin is not vegan. However, there is a product called “agar agar” that is sometimes marketed as “gelatin,” but it is vegan. It is derived from a type of seaweed.

It’s typically used as a stabilizer, thickener, or texturizer in many foods and cosmetics. Gelatin can also be used for the clarification of juices and vinegar. Here are some foods that contain gelatin:


  • Green Giant Frozen vegetables (seriously!)
  • Jell-O
  • Frosted cereals
  • Marshmallows
  • Cakes
  • ice cream
  • low fat yogurt
  • Jam
  • Cream cheese
  • Margarine
  • Candies: Skittles, Star-bursts Jr, mints, Trident gum, M&M’s, Snicker bars, Jelly babies, gummy bears/worms, peeps, hostess cupcakes
  • Icing/frosting
  • Sour cream
  • vitamins (coating and gel capsules)

Gelatin can also be found in many shampoos, face masks, and cosmetics. I found many health benefits online in favor of consuming gelatin. So, if you’re not a vegan and not freaked out about how gelatin is made, feel free to overdose of gummy bears.


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