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Non-Dairy? Misleading Labels

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Non-Dairy? Misleading Labels

Casein is the principal protein in milk. It’s found in the milk of all mammals, and, oddly enough, is often found in food items marked ‘non-dairy.’

While the term ‘non-dairy’ might mislead you into believing that the product in question is milk-free, it’s actually a term invented by the dairy industry to indicate less than 0.5 percent milk by weight.

Examples of ‘non-dairy’ products that contain casein are some coffee creamers, whipped toppings, and soy or rice cheeses. Casein helps non-dairy cheese melt. (It also makes it harder to wash the stuff off your dishes afterward.)

Most of the U.S. supply of casein is imported from countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and certain European countries. On several dairy industry websites, it is made clear that casein is a highly profitable byproduct of dairy farming, making it essential for vegans to avoid casein wherever possible.


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Read more: Animal Rights, Conscious Consumer, Diet & Nutrition, Food, Pets, Vegan

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Angel Flinn

Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World – a non-profit educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition.


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4:20PM PST on Dec 30, 2011

very informative.

2:50PM PST on Feb 2, 2011


4:35PM PST on Dec 24, 2010

Proper labels, please!

5:25AM PST on Dec 14, 2010

Informative article.

5:10PM PST on Dec 12, 2010

Thanks for the info!

12:41AM PST on Nov 29, 2010

thanks for the great information.

6:28PM PST on Nov 28, 2010


2:10AM PST on Nov 28, 2010

Thank you for the article. I knew about Casein but I'll have to look more closely to some products now.

1:04PM PST on Nov 27, 2010

Read, thank you Angel.

7:51AM PST on Nov 23, 2010

I have dairy products so am I'm not bothered but have a Vegan friend who does always wonder if some products are suitable for him. I'd never even heard of Casein before.

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