This is often misleading since the consumer would probably assume this type of cheese uses nothing but soy or rice in it’s processing. However, many vegetarian cheeses are not really dairy free. They often contain a product called casein, which is a milk protein.
So, many of these cheeses are not truly dairy free which could cause huge problems for individuals who are allergic to milk or lactose intolerant. There are cheeses that state on the label “casein free” which means they are truly dairy free.
Casein is found in other products where you probably wouldn’t expect to find it. Certain types of processed meats and canned tuna fish use casein as a binder. Another unexpected source of dairy products is in steaks ordered from a steakhouse.
Often, butter is melted on the steak as it is grilled. If you are allergic to milk, always ask how your food is prepared in restaurants. Other areas of concern are, for vegans, looking for hidden products, such as fish.
It is not unusual for worcestershire sauce or bottled salad dressing to use anchovies as one of their ingredients. Gelatin listed as a food ingredient can also be derived from animal products.
Individuals with a peanut or tree nut allergy have to use a lot of caution about what they consume.
It is not unusual for chili, hot sauces or pesto to contain peanuts. Coconuts are considered a tree nut and it is found in many different food products such as pancake mixes and breads.
One of the best choices for consumers is to buy products with the least amount of ingredients to be sure of what is in the food you are buying. The closer to fresh our food is, the more certain you can be of what you are eating.