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Warning to Vegetarians and Vegans: Pork Products in Potato and Tortilla Chips

By Edited Jun 24, 2015 0 4

Tortilla chips

 

Is there pork products in potatos chips? Do my favorite chips contain meat? Do Doritos have pork in them? Have I been eating meat in my chips? What snacks are safe? These are common questions that are springing up around the vegetarian and vegan community with surprising regularity and more surprising answers. Many vegetarians and vegans are trying to lead a healthy life with eating choices that not only contribute to the health of the body, but also the health of the environment. Many are shocked to realize that some of the most popular snacks have pork enzymes as part of the flavoring. That's right! Meat in the potato chip and tortilla chip aisle.

 

Frito-Lay has recently updated their website to address the concerns of the vegetarian and vegan community (as well as the kosher crowd). It has been discovered that a pork enzyme is used as part of the cheese making process which eventually ends up as the coating on several variety of chips. This has gone unnoticed by many healthy and environmentally conscious eaters, but now the truth is being acknowledged.

Many consumers do not read ingredient labels properly and even if they did the term "porcine enzyme" is not exactly a household phrase. Much in the same way McDonalds failed to disclose beef flavoring in its fries and faced an angry public, so now are the chip and snack manufacturers. A newly revised list of snacks that are porcine enzyme free (pork enzyme) are available on their site. The possibly affected brands include Doritos, Tostitos, Lays, Ruffles, Cheetos and more--some of the best selling snacks in America. Frito-Lay is not the only one using the pork enzymes, but as an industry leader, they must set the precedence for full disclosure. Other companies are following or have followed suit.

The possible health affects may be minor. Some vegetarians and vegans will complain of stomach pains or develop other mild reactions, but the ethical damage and feeling of being tricked may be far worse than any mild digestive issues. Customer trust takes a long time to build and only moments to destroy. Many former customers have turned their backs permanently on brands that have used pork enzymes.

It is very important that vegetarians and vegans read labels carefully and consult the manufacturer's website or by phone. Chemicals, additives and natural and artificial flavorings have become a way of life in the food industry. Porcine enzyme use if seemingly here to stay and high fructose corn syrup is not going to be banned anytime soon, either. Whether intentionally failing to disclose the use of meat products or unintentionally, the food manufactures must be held accountable and to a high standard of conduct. The only way to make a difference is through your voice or through your wallet. It is important to know if your favorite snack has secretly been betraying you behind your back. Become informed and stay healthy and let the manufacturers know that you want and will support true vegetarian or vegan snacks, but refuse to be lied to anymore.

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Comments

Mar 8, 2010 3:20am
crunchydata
I had no idea. Thank you for posting this information. Hopefully chip makers will eliminate this, but in the meantime, we'll be watching chip labels for porcine enzyme. I'm wondering if it's in crackers, too. Guess I've got some homework to do.
Mar 8, 2010 7:27am
sound_foundation
There are several brands of crackers affected, too. :-(
Mar 16, 2010 11:58pm
jmoent
This is why it is extremely important to read the ingredient labels on your food. It is one of the reasons that I no longer eat 'chips' like Doritos or Cheetos. If I must indulge, it is usually a simple potato chip - where the only ingredients are potatoes, salt, and oil.
Aug 25, 2010 3:52pm
buriguri
It's crazy how many animal ingredients there can be in foods that most people would think are vegetarian or vegan. I'm a pretty avid label reader and try to stick to mostly unprocessed food.
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