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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Created on: 02/15/14 02:40 AM Views: 804 Replies: 8
why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Posted Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 2:40 AM

i was at the grocery store, stocking yup with my favourite almond milk ( really love blue diamond vanilla! ) and i was a little confused, because i also saw lactose-free milks. i didn't get them this time around, but thought, ok maybe i can try it next time...however, i'm confused because so many lactose-intolerant individuals will drink this, but then i recall being told these are not vegan?

i read the label and i didn't see anything along the lines of milk / creme or dairy? just wondering what the difference was between plant-based milk, nut/seed milk, and Lactose-free milk.

RE: why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Posted Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Lactose-free milk products are still cow's milk, only with the enzyme lactase added to them. Lactase breaks down lactose during digestion and is what diminishes from our guts after weaning.

So yes, it's still cow's milk.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Posted Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Maybe think of it this way. Decaffinated coffee is still coffee.
Jen

RE: why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Posted Saturday, February 15, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Thanks Susan, for clearing this up - it's good that I didn't buy it and drink, thinking 'this is vegan!' haha. Yes, I think I understand...it is really the same thing as regular milk, but it has the enzyme? Lactase added to help people drink it, who are lactose-intolerant. But still has casein which after reading about the addictive properties, well no wonder dairy is so hard to quit.

And Jen, well - yes decaf is indeed still coffee, but very different, since decaf probably will not make you feel as awake or keep you up at night!

RE: why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Posted Monday, February 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM

There's an easy way to know if something is vegan or not - is it part of an animal or did it come from part of an animal? If an animal is in there somewhere - milk, eggs, meat, then it is not vegan. If you can look at something and not find any animals involved, then it is vegan. There are a few 'odd' cases like white sugar which may be bleached using animal bone char where you can't tell by looking, but most of the time it's pretty easy to tell if it's a plant or not a plant.

--DebR

RE: why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Bugsmom wrote:

There's an easy way to know if something is vegan or not - is it part of an animal or did it come from part of an animal? If an animal is in there somewhere - milk, eggs, meat, then it is not vegan. If you can look at something and not find any animals involved, then it is vegan. --DebR

As you say, Deb, sugar can be bleached with animal char, but candies like jelly beans, fruit gums etc. also contain gelatin made from the connective tissue of animals and this may not be obvious on the packaging - so even "sugar-free" versions of these candies can still not be vegan. Sad (now I just stare at wine gums in the store for a minute...and keep walking)

All we are saying is "Give Peas a Chance"

RE: why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Mariberry wrote:

Bugsmom wrote:
There's an easy way to know if something is vegan or not - is it part of an animal or did it come from part of an animal? If an animal is in there somewhere - milk, eggs, meat, then it is not vegan. If you can look at something and not find any animals involved, then it is vegan. --DebR

As you say, Deb, sugar can be bleached with animal char, but candies like jelly beans, fruit gums etc. also contain gelatin made from the connective tissue of animals and this may not be obvious on the packaging - so even "sugar-free" versions of these candies can still not be vegan. Sad (now I just stare at wine gums in the store for a minute...and keep walking)


Yes, that's true - but not all "gelatin" is made from animal aprts, there is vegan gelatin, vegan marshmallows (which also use gelatin normally) - "sugar free" has nothing to do with whether something is vegan. As with everything, RIF - reading is fundamental - read the label and be familiar with common animal based products like gelatin, whey, casein.
--DebR

RE: why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Bugsmom wrote:

Mariberry wrote:
Bugsmom wrote:
There's an easy way to know if something is vegan or not - is it part of an animal or did it come from part of an animal? If an animal is in there somewhere - milk, eggs, meat, then it is not vegan. If you can look at something and not find any animals involved, then it is vegan. --DebR

As you say, Deb, sugar can be bleached with animal char, but candies like jelly beans, fruit gums etc. also contain gelatin made from the connective tissue of animals and this may not be obvious on the packaging - so even "sugar-free" versions of these candies can still not be vegan. Sad (now I just stare at wine gums in the store for a minute...and keep walking)


Yes, that's true - but not all "gelatin" is made from animal aprts, there is vegan gelatin, vegan marshmallows (which also use gelatin normally) - "sugar free" has nothing to do with whether something is vegan. As with everything, RIF - reading is fundamental - read the label and be familiar with common animal based products like gelatin, whey, casein.
--DebR

Not to belabour the point, but what I meant was - sugar-free (no animal char) items can still not be vegan due to the gelatin it contains. Many people are unaware of where "most" gelatin comes from. Candies and other items using vegan gelatin would normally be labelled so....no? How does one know if it's vegan or from connective tissue? How is it identified on the label?

All we are saying is "Give Peas a Chance"

RE: why is lactose-free milk not vegan?
Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Mariberry wrote:


Not to belabour the point, but what I meant was - sugar-free (no animal char) items can still not be vegan due to the gelatin it contains. Many people are unaware of where "most" gelatin comes from. Candies and other items using vegan gelatin would normally be labelled so....no? How does one know if it's vegan or from connective tissue? How is it identified on the label?

yes, it will usually say 'vegan' or 'non-animal' - for instance, some cheeses are made with vegan or non-animal rennet, I've occasionally seen "plant based rennet" listed. Even 'non-dairy' cheeses sometimes are not vegan - they are made for lactose intolerant folks, not necessarily vegans. They might also have casein, milk protein, because that isn't an issue for lactose intolerance. Even wines, I've seen those that say 'vegan' on the label - anything else may not be.

Bottom line, I guess, is to (a) learn the terms - what words generally mean it has an animal product (like gelatin, casein, whey) (b) make more things from scratch and use less packaged products because then you know pretty clearly what you put into it

--DebR


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