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Is there any online resource that I can use to check which products are vegan?

I am a long time vegetarian who is trying to switch to vegan. Mostly, I cook from basic ingredients and hence it is easy to see whether it is vegan. However, I sometimes use some ready made products, most commonly breads, and it is less easy to check. These days, many products are labelled as vegetarian but few are labelled vegan. For those that are labelled vegetarian but not vegan, it can be hard to tell. In some cases, it is obvious from the ingredients that it is not vegan but in many cases it is not. I was hoping to find an online database where I can look up products but I have not been able to. So, I have to research product by product. Sometimes I get the answer quickly and easily but, other times, it is a struggle.

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I'm going to assume by online you're more interested in websites than mobile apps and I think there's a lack of a really good one-stop resource, however a lot of supermarkets do have vegan lists to be found; Sainsbury's are good in this respect.

Luckily one site does a lot of that research for us and that site is Vegan Womble.

For beer, wine and spirits there is the simple and comprehensive Barnivore

As far as apps go, the 'Is it Vegan?' app I've found to be hit and miss in the UK, mostly miss.

I can recommend the 'Vegan Additives' app on the Play Store for checking the dubious E numbers in those instant noodles in the Chinese supermarket.

Ultimately you're going to end up building a mental checklist of things to avoid, the same way you probably did when you went vegetarian (gelatine, carmine etc).

I have a process which mostly involves elimination, if it's vegetarian and hasn't got eggs, honey, milk or additives in the ingredients and there's an allergy warning saying the factory also handles something, there's a good chance it's not in there except by accident or it would be an explicit ingredient. I think I'm pretty cavalier though, for a lot of people that would be insufficient.

One last point I can't resist making is to encourage buying whole foods (nothing eaiser to read than one ingredient) and shopping at your local organic shop where much of it has a vegan label on it anyway. I realise that's an ideal and not always an option though.

  • Thanks. You can interpret "online" as "easily accessible"; it does not have to be a website but that would be good. I'll have a look at your suggestions. Being vegan today is rather like being vegetarian many years ago: often hard to check and many nearly but not quite suitable products. It is now fairly easy to be vegetarian, let's hope that veganism becomes equally easy. I have not yet decided quite how strict to be. Probably as with being vegetarian, when others cook, I will be a bit less strict, if they have made a reasonable effort then I will turn a blind eye. – badjohn Jan 4 at 13:02
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This is not quite a database of all vegan products in the UK, but it does a good job with finding what will probably be easily accessible. You can filter by dietary requirements and by supermarket to find what is available at each store, and they list all ingredients in the individual product page.

https://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/

Hope this helps.

  • It looks promising but, at a quick glance, it seems that I need to register before I can play with it. – badjohn Jan 7 at 9:26
  • You don't actually, the front page is a bit misleading. Try this link maybe, all the vegan bread at tesco. – J. Klisster Jan 7 at 15:59
  • Thanks again. By chance, bread at Tesco was the question that I was most interested in. Unfortunately, items from the fresh bakery were not included. I was carefully reading the labels and signs in the shop but the answer was not clear. It might be that no animal product was deliberately included but they did not want to claim that they were vegan due to the possibility of cross-contamination (similar to the get out warnings for allergens). This probably deserves its own question. – badjohn Jan 7 at 16:10
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Myvegansupermarket is another good website to use as well as vegan womble. Also you can now get a pdf of the vegan foods at your chosen supermarket. If you type in the supermarket name and vegan list, there will be a pdf you can download eg. Tesco Vegan list.

  • Thanks. That looks useful. – badjohn Jan 27 at 9:16

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