darkoshi: (Default)
Every once in a while I come across an article like Hidden Animal Fats which indicates that ingredients like glycerin or stearic acid are typically non-vegan. Those 2 ingredients and their derivatives are quite common, and I've been of the belief that they were "probably vegan/ok". So reading an article like that, and thinking that I've been buying and ingesting non-vegan things, is surprising and disappointing.

Then I find a page like Vegetarian Journal's Guide To Food Ingredients which indicates that both of those are typically vegan. I tend to trust that organization's information. For the purposes of their article, they contacted several of the large companies which produce the ingredients for commercial use, which gives it more credence. So then I breathe a sigh of relief.

But there are some items the VRG lists as "typically non-vegetarian", which I didn't expect. Palmitic, Oleic, and Myristic acids. Even modified food starch may be non-vegetarian, due to oleic acid being used in the processing.

That bone char is often used in the production of white sugar, I was aware. (I buy unbleached organic sugar rather than white sugar, but I don't avoid items which have sugar as an ingredient, as that would be too limiting.) But it never occurred to me that activated carbon/charcoal might also come from bone. That may be in my water filters. I'll have to find out.

Wait. The VRG page says that activated charcoal is vegan... oh, I guess that only refers to the kind which is intended for ingestion. The VRG page says that the activated carbon which is used in filters may be non-vegetarian, from bones.

Update:
This page about PUR water filters indicates that the activated carbon in the filters is made from coconut shells. (I've read that about Brita filters too). However, the page has a disclaimer at the bottom: "This post was created as part of my collaboration with PUR. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own. I am solely responsible for the content."
So, as it's not an official statement by the company, I've contacted PUR's customer support for verification.

Update #2:
PUR responded to my query: "All of our PUR filters are made from Carbon derived from coconut husks."
darkoshi: (Default)
Serendipitously found. More info about veganism in regards to honey and honeybee pollination, including a lot of interesting details about bees and beekeeping.

Beekeeping and the Ethical Vegan

Why Honey is Not Vegan

The Honey Industry
darkoshi: (Default)
Note to self: Kroger's "Simple Truth" brand of dark chocolate covered raisins now includes milk in the ingredients. The front of the package even includes a small blurb "NEW FORMULA INCLUDES MILK".

.

Sometimes I intend to look up an answer a question I've had in my mind. Then after reading a bunch of webpages, I still may not have a clear answer, but have found a lot of interesting information. So I decide to put some links in a post, along with some text to explain why I'm linking it. And then what I thought would take a few minutes ends up taking hours and hours to finish...

.

I'm vegan as I want to minimize the suffering involved in the production of the food I eat, and as I don't feel it is right to raise animals in order to kill them. I don't believe that animals exist mainly to serve humans, or that humans have an inherent right to exploit them.

With meat, it's pretty obvious that meat production involves the killing of animals, and that the raising and slaughtering of these animals often includes suffering. With dairy products and eggs, it's also fairly obvious that large-scale productions involve non-ideal living conditions for animals and suffering. The dairy and egg industries are also closely tied in with the meat industry. On a small private farm, a farmer might choose to allow a chicken or cow to live until it dies of old age. But with large-scale production, that would be impractical. Female animals are slaughtered after their milk or egg production declines. Male offspring are either killed outright or raised for meat and/or for their sperm.

But the potential suffering involved in harvesting insect by-products is less obvious to me. I've never heard an insect squeal in pain, but to err on the side of compassion, I assume that they can feel pain and/or suffer in other ways.

In the case of honey, I've decided not to completely abstain from eating anything that has honey as an ingredient, but in general I avoid it. I could be wrong, but I think that beekeeping in general doesn't involve much suffering for the bees, and that the bees involved are still able to live a fairly normal life - living in their beehives with their normal social structure intact, and being able freely fly out to collect pollen. That the bees are robbed of their honey and given an inferior substitute in its place is troublesome to me, but I'm not sure that this causes them much suffering. However, what sticks in my mind is a long-ago news report where a truck carrying honeybee hives had an accident and overturned, letting loose the bees. Local authorities were called in to kill the bees.

Searching on honeybee hives truck overturned shows that those kind of truck accidents are surprisingly common.
Sep 29, 2015 - "Beekeepers and officers gathered as many bees as they could before 7:30 p.m., officials said. After dark, the bees became aggressive, so officials decided to burn the beehives."
Jun 28, 2015 - "A semi-truck carrying 400 beehives overturned on a busy freeway near the IRONMAN Triathlon course in North Idaho." "A similar truck wreck just two days ago released more than 20 million bees on State Highway 33 in the eastern Idaho desert."
Apr 17, 2015 - "As temperatures warmed and the bees became more agitated, firefighters sprayed a mixture of foam and water on the hives to slow down or kill some of the bees." "The overturned truck held 448 hives with as many as 14 million bees".

Why do trucks keep spilling swarms of honeybees onto US highways?
While there were only 387 beekeeping establishments in the US in 2012, commercial beekeeping is a multi-million dollar business, the US Department of Agriculture noted in a 2014 report. Many beekeepers – who work on a contract basis – live a semi-nomadic lifestyle, often transporting the bees long distances to reach farmers.

Each truckload of bees contains about 400 to 500 hives, with each hive containing a single queen and between 10,000 and 30,000 worker bees.
..
It is next to impossible to recapture escaped bees following such an accident. In most cases, emergency personnel have to kill the swarms to prevent them from attacking people.


So, while honey production doesn't intentionally involve the killing of bees, it does happen, and when it does, it often involves millions of bees in a single incident.

(This brings up another interesting question/moral dilemma: Why do I avoid honey because of the above, but not the fruit and nuts which are pollinated by the transported bees? And are the honey industry and the honeybee pollinating industry one and the same, or not?)

.

I also avoid items made with silk. Silk cocoons are usually boiled in order to kill the silk worms inside before the silk threads are extracted. There's been some research on how to get the silk without killing the worm, but that particular alternative - semi-paralyzing the silkworm and slowly unreeling the silk at the same pace as the worm produces it, doesn't sound so great to me either. I don't think a silkworm could have a very normal or pleasant life under those conditions.

.

All that was a prelude to the actual topic of this post: Lac, also known as shellac.

I had read in the past that "pure food glaze" or "confectioner's glaze" in food ingredient lists could represent various substances including shellac.

Shellac is a resin exuded by the lac insect in southeast Asia. I haven't been certain whether the harvesting of shellac involves killing the insect or not.

I've assumed that similar vegetable or mineral-based products were also available, and that surely these other sources were cheaper and more widely available than an insect byproduct from southeast Asia. So I thought that items containing "pure food glaze" and "confectioner's glaze" were only partially likely to contain shellac, and therefore haven't avoided them.

Today, I tried to find some more definite answers. How likely is "pure food glaze" to be shellac, and does shellac harvesting kill the bugs?

Almost all the sources I've found today indicate that "pure food glaze" and "confectioner's glaze" only comes from shellac. I only found 2 pages contradicting that:

On a message board, someone wrote that it could be palm-derived: "About confectioner's glaze or pure food glaze, I do have some good news for you all. While it should be assumed to not be vegan unless otherwise told, I contacted Sunridge Farms the other day and they confirmed for me their confectioner's or pure food glaze is indeed vegan. I believe they said it's palm derived (which may be something people try to avoid for other reasons), but they said it's for sure vegan."

This page indicates that it can be contain corn-based zein or beeswax: "Is there a vegan alternative to shellac? Of course! Zein, a corn protein, is a competitive non-animal-based product. Pure zein is clear, odorless, tasteless, hard, water-insoluble, and edible. It is already used as a coating for candy, nuts, fruit, pills, and other encapsulated foods and drugs. In the United States, it may also be labeled as ‘confectioner’s glaze’. NOTE: As well as sometimes being made from shellac, confectioner’s glaze can also contain beeswax."

So it still sounds like the item labelled as pure food glaze or confectioner's glaze can come from various sources, but I'm still unclear as to what percentage of it actually does.

Regarding the harvesting of shellac, from what I've read (more details in the links below):
The female insects attach themselves to tree twigs, and start sucking out tree sap. The sap gets converted into lac and exuded from their bodies, forming a thick coating over them and their eggs. The females die, and the larvae break out of their eggs and somehow migrate to new twigs, to begin the cycle all over again. The twigs are harvested, and then the shellac is scraped off and processed.

Now, if the harvesting happens after the encased females are all dead and the larvae have all hatched and left, I'd be ok with using shellac. But I'm not sure if that is the case. (And even if it were true in most cases, there'd doubtless be some percentage of insects that hadn't yet died or hatched when the twigs are harvested.)

The Story of Shellac

New World Encyclopedia's entry on Shellac
In Kerra lacca, the insect starts as a nymph that is only about 0.6 millimeters (3/128 inches) long (ASB 2008). It settles on a host plant gregariously and there may be on average 150 such larvae per square inch of twig (ASB 2008). The insects project protrusions into the tree, penetrating the bark, and suck up the sap, which is chemically altered in the insects' bodies (Bryk 2002). When exuded onto the tree branch, this secretion forms a hard covering. Larvae begin secreting this lac after a day or two of settlement. As the insects are in close proximity, the lac secretions from adjacent cells coalesce with each other and form a shell-like covering over the entire swarm (ASB 2008; Bryk 2002).

After the first molt, the male and female larvae lose their legs, antennae, and eyes, and after the third molt, the mouthparts in the male larvae become atrophied, the males stop feeding, and they fertilize with the female (ASB 2008). The females' lac output increases greatly after fertilization (Bryk 2002). The female may lay 1000 eggs before dying; after hatching, the new larva break through the crust and swarm out (Bryk 2002).


Orange Shellac Technical Evaluation Report (2014)
Young larvae of lac insects are red and measure about half a millimeter in length and half as much in width. After emergence, they settle down on the lac host and attach themselves to the host by piercing its bark. They suck the sap of the host and start secreting lac. Under this coating the larvae grow while they continue the secretion of lac from the inside. After eight to fourteen weeks, the male insect emerges out of its lac cover, fertilizes the female and dies soon after. The female continues growing and increases lac secretion until the egg laying period (Bose and Sankaranarayan 1963).
..
There are primarily four different non-synthetic substances that may be used in place of orange shellac as a component of citrus fruit waxes: wood rosin, carnauba wax, beeswax and candelilla wax.
..
A number of other non-synthetic and agricultural substances have been briefly studied as alternatives to or in combination with the four primary waxes, including corn zein, xanthan gum, grain sorghum wax, casein, soy protein, and chitosan.(Hagenmaier 1998; Krochta, Baldwin and Nisperos-Carriedo 1994)


Lac Insect

Large number of tiny red larvae of about 0.5 mm. long come out of each mother cell and settle on the tender portions of fresh twigs of certain trees called lac hosts. The larva is sufficiently mobile to crawl along the branches of trees to find fresh succulent twigs. When it has fixed its position and inserted its probocis into the trees it secretes a protective coating consisting of a dark red chitinous scale and a yellow to reddish resin called the lac resin. The insects mature under the protective covering of the resin which becomes hard. Wax glands near the vital pores - the oval region, the breathing pores and the anal pore keep them open by secreting wax filaments.

The larvae mould [molt] thrice inside the cell and becomes sexually mature male and female insects in about eight weeks. The female cell is roundish and the insect remains fixed to the twig. The male cell is somewhat longer with a round trap door through which the insect, sometimes winged, comes out, walks over the females, fertilising several of them and dies. Their direct contribution to resin production is insignificant.

The female insect increases in size to accommodate her large number of growing eggs. The secretion of the resin and wax now proceed at a faster rate and a continuous layer is formed by coalescence and coatings. in another 14 weeks, when the female insect is about to lay eggs, she begins to contract, allowing light into the cell which shows up as yellow spots. When hatched, the larve emerge to begin a new life cycle of about six months.


Life Cycle of Lac-insect (with pictures)

So, am I okay with eating items containing pure food glaze, confectioner's glaze, and/or shellac? Answer: still undecided.

trippy

Monday, August 18th, 2014 08:37 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
Qiao and I drove to Massachusetts to visit family last week.

The HappyCow App was very useful in helping me find nearby vegan/vegetarian restaurants to stop at for lunch&dinner on the way there and back. I'd highly recommend the app and website for other traveling vegans. (However, the app starts automatically in the background when I turn on my phone, and apparently tries to connect to the internet right away. Why? I don't know. In case you don't like it doing that, you may want to search via the happycow.net website instead of installing the app.)

One highway rest area, in Virgina I believe, had a nice big building. One of the vending machines had oranges in it!

You know how the motels have little soaps and bottles of shampoo and such? One motel also had a packet labeled "Deluxe Vanity Kit". Curious, I opened it. It contained 2 cotton swabs, a cotton ball, and a tiny emery board. Deluxe, indeed.

Another motel had a cute rubber ducky in the bathroom to greet us.

Lately, I've acquired a taste for this "Synergy" line of kombucha drinks. They have a slightly sour flavor like apple cider vinegar, but are also slightly sweet, and naturally effervescent!

the downfall

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 09:34 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I wonder if dogs even notice or care whether their water is filtered tap water versus unfiltered. I've been giving them filtered water, under the premise that as they have a good sense of smell and taste, that they would prefer filtered like I do. That's what I put in their water bowl. But I also fill another shallow bowl with unfiltered water, and put their food bowl in that (like a castle surrounded by a moat - to reduce the number of crawly bugs that can get in their food). The big dog seems to drink out of either bowl indiscriminately. I haven't really noticed which bowl the small dog drinks from. Maybe I shouldn't bother giving them filtered?

.

Burger King's onion rings currently include whey as an ingredient. From what I remember, they didn't used to.

But their french fries still seem to be made of vegan ingredients, as do their new "satisfries".

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I am going to stop taking the butterbur for a while, as I suspect I may be getting desensitized/immune to it. I'll try taking loratadine and/or fexofenadine every day in the mean while, to see how well those work for me. In the past, I only took them when I was having an allergy attack. Sometimes they helped, sometimes not. They're supposed to last 24 hours, but even when they did help, they often didn't last that long. Do you have to take them regularly in order to get consistent relief for a whole 24 hours? Or is it common for people to have to take multiple types of allergy medication per day to keep their allergies at bay?

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Um. Guess that's all for tonight, folks.

Oh. Halloween. Thinking about doing anything for it gave me a feeling of dread the last couple of weeks. (If I buy one of those nice pretty pumpkins, I'll have gone too far: Then I'd be stuck - I'd have to design a face for it, and carve it, and buy candy, and put up decorations, and think of something to wear, and find a way to fit the pumpkin into the fridge, and cut up and cook the pumpkin, and then make pies and meals with it...)

Today in the store, walking by the Halloween candy, it felt possibly do-able. I'm feeling a bit more energy for it. Yet in my neighborhood, I've only seen one house with decorations up. It's sad really, that it's only one house. It's sad (from the perspective of myself) to buy a bunch of candy and to have the possibility of no trick-or-treaters even stopping by. On the other hand, it would be sad (from the perspective of me thinking of potential treat-or-treaters) for me to keep the gate closed and to put up decorations and carve a pumpkin just for myself.

Re-reading this paragraph makes me think, maybe I don't have the energy. Hmmm.

My foster sister said she was having a Halloween party *this* Saturday. Eh. All I'd be able to do by then is to put on a hat and throw some scarves around my neck for a "costume". I suppose it wouldn't be my kind of party. I suppose I have never even been to a party that was my kind of party. Except the ones by myself in my own room, maybe. Maybe I should have myself a Halloween party, by myself. With the gate closed, so that there's no anxiety in the back of my mind whether anyone will be coming to trick or treat or not. Except then I'd be feeling anxiety at having the gate closed and at being part of the downfall of Halloween.
darkoshi: (Default)
Coltsfoot - a perennial herbaceous plant in the family Asteraceae that has traditionally had medicinal uses.

Neatsfoot oil - a yellow oil rendered and purified from the shin bones and feet (but not the hooves) of cattle. "Neat" in the oil's name comes from an old name for cattle.
darkoshi: (Default)
My 2002 LDL level was still in the optimal range of under 100. But it occurs to me that my 2002 LDL number may have been higher than in later years, as back then a lot of processed foods contained trans-fats.

Supposedly, trans-fats raise LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) levels and lower HDL (the "good" one). Due to being vegan since high school, I avoided products with animal fats; but that meant that a lot of the processed foods I ate had trans-fats in them instead. My reasons for becoming vegan were ethical rather than health-related, and I've never been particularly concerned with avoiding processed foods.

Curiously, I had a physical done in 1991, and I recall the doctor back then telling me that my cholesterol was somewhat high. I found that odd, as I didn't eat any animal products, and had been vegan for nearly 4 years already. However, I also knew that the body produced its own cholesterol, so it didn't concern me. I wasn't given the actual numbers, and the level must have still been within acceptable levels, as nothing further was mentioned about it.

I'm not sure when exactly trans-fats started being phased out. It was a concern already in 2005, but FDA labeling requirements for trans-fats weren't put in place until 2006. Likewise, trans-fats weren't removed from Oreo cookies until January 2006, and from certain other products until even later. So could that really explain the big difference between my 2002 and 2005 LDL levels? Perhaps companies marketing "health/natural" food products phased out trans-fats earlier than other companies?

However, my HDL levels don't support the hypothesis either. The 2002 number was 49, and the 2005 thru 2013 levels were 51, 52, 47, 53, 59, 57, 52 - no clear pattern.

I wish I had my actual numbers from 1991. That would be interesting. But I'm sure all my old medical records have been destroyed by now, as I never bothered getting a copy of them after graduating from university.

I also wish I could remember the purported reason for me getting that physical done in 1991. I think my eye doctor requested it... that was when I was being treated for a long-term eye infection. I remember agreeing to the physical, but refusing the pap smear part of it. It seems very strange that the Insurance explanation of benefits forms (which I still do have) for the physical describe 2 of the charges as "Outpatient Psychiatric". Did the eye doctor think I had a psychiatric problem, because of my introverted manner? Was it not so much a physical as a psychiatric evaluation along with a physical? Did the doctor avoid telling me it was a psychiatric evaluation? I surely don't remember being told that. Or are psychiatric evaluations a normal part of a physical?
darkoshi: (Default)
The company I work for offers free health screenings to employees every year or so. In the past, nurses from a local medical center would come onsite to do the screenings, which included blood draws for the lipid, iron, and glucose level tests.

This year, I missed out on the onsite screenings. But I got a voucher for a free screening at Walgreens (a pharmacy chain). So I did that today. Unlike the prior screenings, these tests were done via finger-pricks rather than blood draws, and the results were available right away, rather than a few weeks later.

During the years 2005 thru 2012, my numbers were in the following ranges (mg/dL):
Total Cholesterol: 121 - 133
Triglyceride: 29 - 64
HDL Cholesterol: 47 - 59
LDL: 62 - 72
VLDL: 6 - 13

The HDL + LDL + VLDL numbers equal the Total Cholesterol numbers.

I was first screened in 2002, and I skipped the next 2 years. For whatever reason, my LDL was quite a bit higher in 2002:
Total Cholesterol: 151
Triglyceride: 60
HDL: 49
LDL: 90
VLDL: 12


Today's results showed an even higher LDL value, 96. That caught my attention, as it is near the high range of optimal (<100). Then I noticed that today's results don't include VLDL. Then I noticed that today's numbers don't even add up (how could HDL + LDL > TC ??)... The sheet says:
Total Cholesterol: 121
HDL: 52
TRG: 45
LDL: 96

Hmmm.. 121 - 52 = 69. The nurse must have transposed 69 to 96 when she wrote the LDL number down. In fact, I remember looking at the machine that had analyzed my finger-prick blood sample, and seeing it display "N/A" under LDL. The nurse must have been doing arithmetic in her head.

Anyway, so this year's real LDL + VLDL number is likely 69, so rather than it being much worse than the other years, it is slightly better.

Then again, this page says:
There may be several reasons for an LDL cholesterol result of N/A. The LDL cholesterol is calculated as follows: LDL=(TC-HDL-TRG/5). If the triglyceride result is >400 mg/dL (>4.51 mmol/L), the calculated LDL cholesterol will not be accurate and the LDL result will be reported as N/A. If the TC, HDL or TRG results are outside the measuring range of the instrument, the LDL will also not be calculated and will be reported as N/A.

So maybe today's LDL number isn't reliable at all.

Hmmm... for all the prior years, VLDL = Triglyceride/5.
It appears that the VLDL and LDL numbers are always calculated, rather than measured. Only the Total Cholesterol, HDL, and Triglyceride levels are actually measured.

Today's test didn't measure my iron level. In the previous years, it ranged from 89 to 138, all within normal limits.

My blood pressure tends to be on the low side. Today it was 90/65. The highest one from prior years was 107/73.

Good Life Cafe

Saturday, April 16th, 2011 09:48 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
OMG. A vegan raw food restaurant opened in my area, and I wasn't even aware of it!

"Good Life Café in West Columbia, SC is a raw food cafe & juice bar that is now open! We are conveniently located at 3681-D Leaphart Road, West Columbia, SC 29169, next door to 24/7 Health & Fitness Center. Open Monday-Saturday from 7am-8pm."

http://www.goodlifecafe.net/

Daily menus are posted on their Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/goodlifecafe

I can't wait to try them out. Last year during my Jacksonville trip, I went to a vegan raw food restaurant in St. Augustine, and I enjoyed the food, even though I was new to raw food. Wow. I hope this restaurant is able to stay in business.

..

There's another vegan restaurant in Columbia, Lamb's Bread Cafe. I had almost forgotten about that one. The few times I've been there, the food was good. But Qiao and I gave up trying to frequent that restaurant because they hardly ever seemed to be open when we went, despite their posted hours. The last time, we were pleased that they were open when we got there. But then as we were ordering our food at the counter, we found out that they were in the process of closing early for the day, and so they only gave us food to go. Another thing that I found unsettling about that restaurant was that the food was served on styrofoam plates. But they've been getting good reviews lately, so we should really try them again.
darkoshi: (Default)
Every so often I hear of someone who says that they tried a vegetarian diet for a while, but had to stop due to never feeling full, or due to lacking energy, or some such thing. If I recall correctly, in most cases these people hadn't even been on a vegan diet, but rather simply a lacto-ovo-vegetarian one. They said that they found they needed to eat meat in order to feel normal or well again. This always makes me wonder, if it is indeed true that some people need to eat meat in order to feel healthy, then exactly what component of meat is it that makes the difference, and what exactly is the difference between these people and other vegetarians who do not experience the same difficulties.

I found an article which discusses the above problem and calls it "Failure to Thrive" (FTT). I also found a interesting study being done on the long-term health effects of veganism, with one of the goals being to determine what causes FTT among "unsuccessful vegans". Apparently the study was started in 1998 but is still ongoing and accepting new participants.**

Clinical Summary 2005 - based on some prior results of the study.

Nutritional Strategies for Inflamed Joints and Other Conditions. Perhaps I should try some of the things on this page. My lower back seems to keep getting worse.

**An optional part of the study involves getting blood and urine samples analyzed with various tests. The website says that $750 is charged for this. (whoa!) I was wondering if that was a reasonable price, so.... this page lists the tests that are done. An earlier version of that page, from the Internet Archive, mentions that the test is the "Metametrix Clinical Laboratory #190 ION Plus panel". This page prices the Metametrix "ION (Individual Optimal Nutrition) Profiles - Blood & Urine " test at $785. So apparently the price is valid.
darkoshi: (Default)
I've been having difficulty at restaurants lately, even at restaurants at which I haven't had difficulties in the past. Once in a while I order something like a rice or noodle dish, not even considering that they might put egg in it, and then I'm unpleasantly surprised.

Several times lately, at different restaurants, I've ordered a dish which by its description seemed completely vegetarian. But when I tasted it, it tasted like beef fat... perhaps they fried it in the same pan after having made a meat dish, without cleaning the pan out. Or perhaps they used meat on purpose for flavoring. Today I ordered a chinese dish of sauteed greens, which turned out to be baby bok choi... but it smelled and tasted strongly of beef fat. I only ate a few bites, before deciding I didn't want to force myself to eat any more of it. I'm wondering if I'm getting paranoid, or if it really is meat that I'm tasting. Sometimes I've even found bits of meat in my dish.

Even when I get a vegetarian dish, I'm never sure if it's actually vegan. At Indian restaurants, I can avoid the dishes that mention cream or paneer, but for the rest, I don't know if they are cooked with ghee or not. With the last Indian dish I ordered, I asked if it could be made without butter, and they said yes they would do that. But when I got it, it looked likely that it had been made with ghee after all... perhaps Indians don't consider ghee to be butter? When we order breads like naan, maybe those are made with dairy... I never know. I'm afraid to ask, because then there might be hardly anything at all on the menu which I could eat.

When I order vegetable sushi, it usually comes with a mound of wasabi paste. I like wasabi. But the wasabi paste I've seen for sale in stores always has lactose in it; does that mean the stuff in the restaurants which I've been eating isn't vegan either?

Sometimes I order something, and it comes with some kind of creamy looking sauce drizzled over it. Am I really vegan, when I end up eating these kinds of things?

I don't want to have to declare to the waiters at each restaurant I go to, that I'm vegan, and what do they have which I can eat? I don't even expect people to know what "vegan" means, so I'd have to explain what I did and did not eat. But I don't want to have to say or explain anything. I want to be able to just order sauteed greens or lemongrass tofu curry or vegetable fried rice from the menu without having to ask what the ingredients are, and without having to specifically request that the cook clean the pan before cooking my food.

What's the likelihood that someone who orders a vegetable entree is *not* vegetarian? It seems quite unlikely to me. So why would a chef cook a vegetable entree in beef fat or with meat as a flavoring?
darkoshi: (Default)
I checked the ingredients of some common anti-depressants, and some of them don't have gelatin or lactose.
listing... )
darkoshi: (Default)
4 years ago while researching what artificial butter flavor was made from, I came across a news report about several people in a popcorn plant having gotten a rare lung disease from breathing in particulates from artificial butter flavor.

Now I came across a report of a popcorn-eating consumer who has been diagnosed with the same rare lung disease:
http://www.abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=3565670&page=1

This sort of makes me glad I passed on the free popcorn they were giving out at work today, especially since the butter-flavor on that popcorn is usually so strong it tastes yucky after a while.

(no subject)

Monday, July 23rd, 2007 07:34 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
I went back to the store's fitting rooms yesterday, and I did find my earcuff. Yay.

I got done the things I needed to get done, but didn't get to bed till late. Well, not all the things that needed doing, but the pressing ones.

Today I've been either having a bad case of allergies, or coming down with a cold. I wonder if I was already getting sick this weekend (I did have a slight headache), and if that contributed to my moodiness. Or if whether being stressed and not getting enough sleep over the weekend lowered my immune system function and caused me to get sick today.

I was looking at the allergy medicines at the drug store, and noticed that all the Claritin/Loratadine tablets contain lactose. I would have thought that they would at least have one kind without, for people who are allergic to milk products. Other tablets are made without lactose, so surely they could do the same for loratadine.

I was dreaming last night that I was alone in my bedroom at the old house, and criminals and cops were outside my door and around the house having a shoot-out. I hid in my closet and tried to duck behind furniture in order to avoid being shot by stray bullets.

(no subject)

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 06:35 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
My back is feeling much better. I went to a chiropractor yesterday, and it did seem to help. My belief in chiropractors has been somewhat restored.

I may be getting my own place soon - if nothing untoward happens in the next few days. I've been trying not to jinx it, by not talking about it much.

My computer's been having start-up issues lately. It often reboots itself while loading Windows. I must research this.

I spoke briefly on the phone with my brother's old friend from high school. He is vegan too. I can't think of anyone else whom I've known in person, who is vegan. Oh. I guess my German aunt's former neighbor is too, based on some of the newsletters he forwards to Forestfen. So that is 2 vegans I know of. Out of all the people I have ever met. Sigh. Or maybe there have been more, and my memory is just bad.

My bangs are long enough that they bother me. I haven't decided whether to grow them out or cut them off... which might result in me cutting the rest of the hair on the top of my head short again, too. For now, I am keeping them out of my face with hairpins. I don't like the look of the hairpins in my hair, though. Perhaps I will find some other style that I like better. But I doubt there are any that are much better. Long hair is feminine-looking enough, and hairpins make it even worse.

(no subject)

Saturday, February 10th, 2007 01:54 am
darkoshi: (Default)
Here's an old post I was searching back for. A bit over 3 years ago. I've come pretty far since then. I suppose, anyway. Not really any more optimistic than I used to be. But at least then I had a vague idea what I was seeking - "exploration of nonsexual BDSM experiences".
Now, I don't know anymore. Or maybe I'm just in a funk, right? Yeah. Funkydelic.

Oh yes, and speaking of years, I was counting them today, and...
I've been a vegetarian for 19 and a half years. Vegan for 19 years. Whew.