All You Need To Know About Gelatin
What is gelatin? Is gelatin a by-product? How can one avoid its consumption?
One of the characteristics of agricultural industrialization is where every animal is utilized and developed for the production of one major product. For example, different varieties of chickens have been bred for different purposes – one breed is characterized by rapid growth for the meat industry, and one that is characterized by the laying of large and many eggs for the egg industry. However, it is beneficial to increase profits from the animal, and thus the agricultural industry also uses the rest of the body as much as possible. The animal skins produce clothing, the meat of animals not bred for food go into food for “pets” and soups, and the animal bones and their skin produce gelatin. Some of the side industries, such as the leather industry, are large and have a decisive impact on the profitability of the main industries. Gelatin production is not included in these industries.
What is gelatin?
Gelatin is therefore one of the by-products of the animal food industries. It is a substance derived from cow, pork or fish bones. The bones are crushed thinly, and the product is served as a refrigerated solid mass.
Where is it found and how to avoid it
Herbal gelatin substitutes in cooking include tapioca and agar agar (which is naturally occurring in plants) and synthetic-vegetable jelly powder. Gelatin is sometimes labeled as “E441” and sometimes just as a “stabiliser”. In addition to various food products, gelatin is also commonly used in the pharmaceutical industry. Most capsules contain gelatin. However, most mass produced drugs can also be obtained in tablet or syrup form, which do not contain gelatin. Certain vitamin manufacturers produce herbal capsules. Gelatin is also found in very small amounts in film, so it is recommended to use a digital camera or video camera. However, each manufacturer uses different methods, and therefore it is not possible to produce an exhaustive list – as sometimes the methods and ingredients used can also change over time.
A happy ending? Not really
Strauss Group Ltd (one of the largest food products manufacturers in Israel) announced that it will take action to remove the gelatin from its dairy products. This is proof that consumer feedback, by combining boycott and working with the media, can be a very effective tool. This is probably the first time that the vegetarian public has succeeded in removing animal byproducts from a food product, and hopefully this will continue. However, keep in mind that dairy products contain other components, which involves an equally severe cruelty to animals – the milk itself – a product which, to produce, distorts the bodies of cows to form mighty and burdensome udders, the farmers rob them of their offspring and kills them, and exposes them to dung infections, chronic limping and many other diseases, until they are killed at a very young age. Unlike gelatin, milk is not a by-product and is the main component of the product.
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