Of course Jello is a brand name, the actual food is called gelatin dessert or gelatin snack. Ding there goes the red flag, gelatin! In last weeks post I discussed what is in gelatin and why it is not vegetarian friendly. But to recap, it is made of out the bones and connective tissues of animals. Jello is the most popular brand of gelatin snacks and most people just call all gelatin snacks by the name "Jello." These gelatin snacks are just pure gelatin with some sugar, color, and flavor. The problem with that is it masks the reality of what you are eating. Steak is called "steak" and not "dead cow muscle" for a reason, the latter sounds less appetizing. So everyone is walking around eating their Jello fruit snack without even knowing what they are putting into their bodies. And I will admit that for the first year or two after becoming a vegetarian I too ate Jello out of sheer ignorance. But all that stopped as soon as I learned about gelatin.
But alas, all hope it not gone for those Jello lovers! There are food brands out there that do make vegetarian and vegan "gelatin" snacks. My favorite is Trader Joe's Natural Gel Cups.
Like Jello, they come in the small plastic cups with the peal back foil top which made me feel like a kid again. They come in two flavors: Black Cherry, and Peach Mango. I only tried the Black Cherry flavor, but it was really reminiscent of the classic Jello flavor. There are also loads of vegan gelatin recipes online.
I will end this awardness wednesday with a story. I took AP biology my senior year in high school. A very common (and easy) method of separating and observing DNA is Gel Electrophoresis. The gel part, meaning gelatin. So I am in the lab making and pouring my gelatin so I can do the procedure, and our teacher is walking around making sure we are all doing it right. He stopped at my table and watched for a bit and then said "Mmmm, doesn't this make you hungry for Jello?" Which I replied "No, I am a vegetarian." He just walked away in silence.
Will you be trying out vegan gelatin snacks?
Bye from the veggie side!