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".