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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Can You Trust Vegan Restaurants?

It's always a leap of faith dining at restaurants to trust that the food being served is vegan. In a vegan restaurant, I tend to trust that the servers and owners share my values and are serving me a vegan item.

This blog posting has made me think twice about being so trusting.

Seventeen vegan restaurant items were tested for egg, casein (a dairy derivative), and shellfish. Ten of the seventeen, including some of my favorite places like Real Food Daily, Vinh Loi Tofu, M Cafe de Chaya, and Vegan Glory, did well.

However, seven of the seventeen restaurants, most of them vegan Thai restaurants, had food that tested positive for non-vegan ingredients. For example, some of the vegan "cheeses" actually contained dairy ingredients, and many of the mock meats were found to have egg and shellfish in them.

My concern over this lack of honesty is not mostly for dietary purity. There are many people with shellfish and milk allergies, and they could easily consume a product that could harm them.

My take home message: When in doubt, order an item with tofu or seitan (see two posts below), instead of the "fake meat".


Brenda W. said...

Wow ... interesting reading. As someone who lives in a very rural area with no nearby vegan restaurants, and the local ones having just about zero vegan items (and often not even understanding what the word vegan means ... "We have several fish dishes you can choose from .... "), I've always thought how fabulous it must be for folks in urban areas to have multiple vegan dining choices at their fingertips.

This post shows there's a whole 'nother layer to that.

Patty said...

I never thought about having to be concerned in a vegan restaurant that what I thought was vegan, is vegan. Thanks for the info. I think from now on I will be a bit more cautious

Marija said...

Thanks for sharing this. It sure helps me keep on my toes.

I guess the only thing you can really trust is the food you grow in your own backyard.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where I can find frozen Indian food that's vegan?