Glycerin has always been one of those tricky ingredients for vegetarians because it’s included in so many consumer products and can be either plant or animal derived. One of those items where you’ll frequently find glycerin is toothpaste. So, I wrote to Crest to ask them whether their glycerin comes from. The basic answer (it can come from either, whatever’s more available) didn’t surprised me, but some of the other information in their response did:

Hi Ryan,

Crest Cavity Protection versions (Regular Paste, Cool Mint Gel, Icy Mint Striped and Kid’s Sparkle) don’t have glycerin, so they don’t contain animal by-products. Other versions of Crest contain glycerin which may be derived from vegetable or animal sources.

To assure yourself, we suggest checking the ingredient statement on Crest before you buy it. If glycerin isn’t listed, the Crest version contains no animal by-products. If glycerin is listed, it may be derived synthetically from either vegetable or animal sources, depending on which type is available at the time we buy it. If it’s made from animal sources, it may come from either beef or pork. There’s no way we can determine which form is in any particular package. However, any animal by-product used is chemically altered during manufacture and no longer resembles the original substance by the time it’s added to our product. Currently, we are in the process of converting to purely vegetable sources.

If religious beliefs, dietary preferences or medical conditions prevent your using products containing animal ingredients, share this information with your physician, dentist, minister, or rabbi. This person can better decide if you can use our product.

Hope this is helpful.

Crest Team

While I couldn’t care less if the product is “chemically altered” and “no longer resembles the original substance,” I was pleased to see that Crest is “in the process of converting to purely vegetable sources.” Good stuff and I hope they note that on their label when the time comes.

Contest and Herbivore


The other day I was thinking, “What would be something really nice that I could do for both Veg Blog readers and people that make products that I really support?” It didn’t take me long to think, “Monthly contest!” After all, one lucky reader per month will get something cool and a company that I am comfortable supporting gets a month of exposure on the site. I’m “giving back,” but twice! It’s like resurrecting two birds with one incantation.

Since March is already nine days gone and I have to do a little legwork to lineup sponsors for the contest, I decided to go ahead and give away a copy of my hip-hop mix CD Conspicuous Absence. It’s not veggie-themed or anything, but it was mixed by a vegan. That’s good enough, right?

Conspicuous Absence is also reviewed in the new issue of Herbivore (#7). Also in that issue is my interview with the PCRM‘s Dr. Neal Barnard who plays in a pretty wicked band named Verdun.

Three Foods I’m Loving, part 3


Let’s see if I can stretch this series out for the rest of the week.

  • Tazo Matcha Tea Latte (click on Products -> Tea Lattes… damn non-bookmarkable Flash) – Or as I so cleverly call it, a “lat-tea.” I’m absolutely hooked on this: mix half a mug of this concentrated Japanese green tea (with honeydew accents) with half a mug of soy milk (OK, it has to be a little less than half since otherwise the mug would overflow after one step) and microwave for three minutes. The result is a creamy, green tea-y hot beverage that will make your eyes roll into the back of your head. Also quite awesome is their Vanilla Black lat-tea.
  • Vice Cream – I’m not about to go out and spend $16 on two vanilla beans, but most of the recipes in this book make it fun to break out the ice cream maker (~$25) and make some homemade frozen desserts. I really liked the vanilla chocolate chip recipe… you’re not going to mistake it for Breyer’s, but an ice cream whose base is cashew nuts (!!!) instead of dairy has a very unique and interesting taste. Good stuff. Also good: the apple cinnamon flavor.
  • Silk Enhanced – The most nutrient-dense soy milk on the market (as far as I know) also tastes good on cereal. Interestingly, this was originally designed as a soymilk for women because of its vitamin C, folic acid, and omega-3s… but don’t men need those, too?

Three Foods I’m Loving, part 2


Three more foods I’ve been loving:

Scary Rubber Chicken Fingers


If there was ever any doubt that the mass production of animals for food is just out of hand, witness the Bright Coop E-Z Catch Chicken Harvester, a scary ass looking machine that scoops up groups of birds with its foot-long rubber fingers (insert joke here) and sends them flying into cages in the back of a truck.

Be sure to watch the video.

It’s probably more humane than workers grabbing the chickens by their necks and throwing them, but look at those birds, man, they’re freaking out. Sadly, with the number of chickens required for food (meat or eggs), there’s no other way to deal with that many chickens than automating the process with scary rubber fingers.

In their lifetime, the average American eats (or eats the eggs of) 2,700 chickens (versus 10 cows or calves). Perhaps we should cut back on the chicken and egg consumption a bit?