Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pop Tarts!

Kellogg's says:

Products containing beef gelatin include all varieties of Kellogg's® Frosted Pop-Tarts®
Though they said this, there were a handful of flavors I found that did not contain gelatin (at least on the package's ingredients list). However, this doesn't mean they are free of any animal products. These varieties include:
  • Kellogg's® Pop-Tarts® Apple Cinnamon toaster pastries

  • Kellogg's® Pop-Tarts® Blueberry toaster pastries

  • Kellogg's® Pop-Tarts® Brown Sugar Cinnamon toaster pastries

  • Kellogg's® Pop-Tarts® Strawberry toaster pastries
I must say, I thought they were only like 5 kinds of fruity flavored Pop Tart flavors but boy was I wrong. They have a whole bunch of exotic and non-breakfasty type flavors.. (note this image doesn't inclue all flavors... there are more!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pepperidge Farm 3-Layer Cakes

I've seen these in the supermarket, but never checked the ingredients, picked them up, or tasted them.

I do not know if they all contain gelatin, or if only some of them do, but Pepperidge Farm said that the gelatin in these cakes are pork derived.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sour Patch Kids & Swedish Fish

Dear Lazeena:

Thank you for contacting us about Sour Patch Kids. Your comments and inquiries are appreciated because they provide valuable feedback about our brands.

Cadbury has been making great brands that people love for more than 200 years. We are proud of our family of confectionery products and are committed to providing a wide range of choices for all individuals.

There are no animal related ingredients or alcohol in our Sour Patch and Swedish Fish products.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We hope that you will continue to purchase and enjoy our products.

Consumer Relations

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wise Popcorn

All Wise's Popcorn flavored snacks are not halal, or Kosher even. There is some animal derivative in them. I don't know what exactly but if anyone is curious I can try and find out.

Their Popcorn snacks include:
  • Butter Flavored Popcorn

  • Reduced Fat Buttered Flavor Popcorn

  • Reduced Fat White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

  • White Cheddar Cheese Popcorn

  • Hot Cheese Popcorn

Wise also stated that any of their products marked Kosher are free of any animal ingredients. Therefore, anything unmarked, is not kosher, and therefore not halal.

I always found their buttered popcorn to be too salty anyway. I was always a fan of White Cheddar popcorn, though I haven't had any in about 4 years.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yoplait Yogurt

Yoplait makes a lot of different yogurt types and flavors. The response I got confirmed that all their varieties contain beef gelatin in them. I don't know if this includes their other brands, such as GO-GURT and TRIX YOGURT, but if you see GELATIN on the ingredients labels of these products then it will be beef derived.

Dear Lazeena:

Thank you for contacting Yoplait with your inquiry.

All Yoplait varieties have gelatin which comes from beef and most contain a small amount of alcohol in the flavoring

We hope you find this information helpful.

Please let us know if
we can help you again.

Sincerely, K.R.
Consumer Services

Yoplait Varieties include:

  • Yoplait Original
  • Yoplait Light
  • Yoplait Whips
  • Yoplait Thick & Creamy
  • Yoplait Family Packs, Fridge Packs
  • Yo-Plus
  • Yoplait Kids
  • Gogurt, Trix, and Fizzix (check for Gelatin)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Rennet & Whey Explained, and Kraft cheese products

I'm not a nutritionist or food expert, but for those of you who are unclear about what rennet and whey are, I'll put it in simple terms to inshaAllah be easily understood.

Rennet is a substance usually taken from baby calves to aid in the production of cheese. There are microbial substitutes that are sometimes used, but this is on a rare occasion and is usually specified on the foods packaging. Why is it taken from a baby calf's stomach? Because this is an enzyme found specifically in their stomachs to help them digest their mother's milk. The enzymes that make up rennet coagulates milk, causing it separate into curds and whey, to help form cheese.

So therefore, whey is the liquid leftover after milk has been curdled and strained. So if the whey was produced using an animal derived rennet, then the product containing whey is not permissible for consumption. This by-product is used in a lot of cheeses, cookies, crackers, breads and pastries. So you shouldn't only look for whey in cheese products!

Ok, so moving onto the Kraft cheeses. I did not even have to email the company about these questions because they were found on their FAQ page.

What is the enzyme derivative of KRAFT Singles?

The process of converting milk into cheese is dependent on coagulating through the use of an enzyme. The enzymes in this product are sourced from both microbial fermentations and animal sources. The animal sources are cow, sheep, and goat.

Well, sometimes they DO use microbial enzymes, which would make the cheese undeniablyhalal. However, because they bounce between microbial and animal enzymes, we never know which is being used at the time we pick up a pack of cheese, and also the equipment would be mixed without being cleaned as well. So we should avoid Kraft Singles inshaAllah, I believe they aren't even kosher either.



Due to an ingredient in this product and/or the manufacturing process, VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product is not certified Kosher.

Again, this would be an animal derivative in used in Velveeta cheeses and are not halal.

What enzyme derivative is present in KRAFT© Macaroni & Cheese?

....The enzymes used to make our cheese powder in packages of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese are derived from an animal source (calves and sheep).

And so again, this too contains animal derived enzymes.

Conclusion: Please be sure to check your food ingredients for RENNET, WHEY, and ENZYMES.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pork in Ragu Pasta Sauces

I always avoid any sauces with cheese in it, because most likely it would be parmesan cheese, which is usually haram. However, some people seem to be not so hardcore in that field.

Ragu responded to an email I sent them saying that most of the cheeses used in their sauces are pork derived cheeses! They said that if any of the sauces say CHEESE in the ingredients, then its best to assume there is pork in it. I guess it's also safe to say any of these sauces containing RENNET or WHEY would then most likely be pork derived.

Their webpage does not contain an ingredients list, otherwise I would have sifted through those and just listed which ones are specifically haram and which ones arent... but I guess that leaves us then with some investigation-type work to do when we're ready to pull some Ragu off the shelf at the market.

So remember - No Ragu with meat flavor (doi!), cheese, rennet, or whey inshaAllah.

Here is the email I received:

Hello Lazeena,

Thanks for writing!

Ragu Sauces do not contain animal or animal derived ingredients unless listed on label, e.g., cheese, cream, etc. The label may also specify that the product is flavored with "beef" or "meat" . The "Meat" is always beef. However, the cheese in products may be produced using ingredients derived from pork. As such, you must check each label. If the product contains cheese, then you must assume it contains a pork derivative.

We hope this information is helpful in assisting you to make the right decisions!

Kind regards,
Your friends at Ragu

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

Here's an email I got from Pepperidge Farm regarding their Cheddar Cheese Goldfish snacks. I'm still waiting on a response regarding the other flavor fish shaped snacks they produce.

The source of cheese enzymes in our Cheddar Cheese Goldfish is beef

Short, not-so sweet, and to the point. I don't know what other proof people need. A lot of people don't believe me when I tell them they're animal by-products in the,. This is the 3rd email I've sent them in the past 5 years and it's always the same response.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tootsie Rolls - Halal or Haram?

Tootsie Rolls are a chocolate flavored, taffy-like American favorite enjoyed for decades. Recently, they've started making them in fruity flavors as well, such as cherry, lime, orange and a few more.

Some time ago it was known that these candies contained whey derived from animals and were NOT halal to eat. I myself just learned they were haram at some point, though I never ate them much.

However after contacting the company 3 times, they've confirmed that they've changed their recipe and that the only animal derived ingredient in Tootsie Rolls is MILK, which is of course perfectly fine for us to consume.

With that, inshaAllah we can continue to enjoy our Tootsie Rolls =)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cabot Cheese

As salaamu alaikum

As we know, it is very hard to find cheeses that are halal. Many of them contain whey and enzymes derived from animals.

A brand some of you may know about is Cabot. Their cheeses are halal, kosher, and approved by the Vegetarian Society alhamdulillah.

Their cheeses come in small, rectangular blocks and they carry a variety of flavors such as Cheddar, Chipotle Cheddar, Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Cheddar, Mild and Sharp Cheddars, Colby and Monterey Jack, among some other flavors and some sliced cheeses.

Their products can be found around the US. Take advantage of their Cabot Product Search to see if any local markets carry their cheeses. You can even order from online!

Here is the email sent to me by their Customer Satisfaction Rep.

Thank you for contacting Cabot and asking your fine question. Here at Cabot, everyone from the farm to the shipping docks feels a strong commitment to the quality standards of our award-winning products. We are always happy to provide our consumers with information that will help them to better understand... and enjoy...Cabot products.

Traditionally, the rennet used for making cheddar cheese was derived from the lining of calves' stomachs. Today, however, Cabot utilizes a microbial-based enzyme that mimics the rennet to manufacture ALL of its award-winning cheeses. The enzyme is added to the milk to coagulate it into curds and whey. Cabot's enzyme is approved by the Vegetarian Society and our Cabot cheeses are certified kosher and halal.

All Cabot Cheeses are animal by-products free, including Pig. Also, our cheeses are made without any animal rennet. During the cheese making process, the whey is drained from the curds and only the curds are used in producing the cheese. The only product that contains whey protein concentrate is our Cheddar Shake. The mono-diglycerides that are listed in our 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar is plant based.

Thank you again for contacting Cabot. Please feel free to contact us anytime with questions, comments, or concerns. We pledge to continue working diligently to ensure you receive natural, wholesome, satisfying products.