Monday, September 26, 2011

Hold the horse hooves please!

Jell-o is a huge hit at my in-laws house. We often have not one but two Jell-o salads at any family gathering. And so, it is rather ironic that my husband won’t even touch the stuff. In fact, my husband likes to tell anyone who will listen to him the origin of gelatin and hot dogs. So if you are a big fan of Jell-o and don’t want to know its shady background, you might want to skip the rest of this post. The popular legend has been that gelatin is made from horses’ and cows’ hooves, but the truth is actually that it comes from the bones, skins, and hides of cows and pigs. I don't think I like either option. The funny thing is that gelatin is not considered an animal product because of its extensive processing. My daughter used to love Jell-o until she received an unsolicited education from her father.

I found a truly vegan "jel dessert" at my local Whole Foods store, and it was a big hit with the family. Instead of sugar, it contains evaporated cane juice and is colored with beet powder rather than the controversial Red #40. And by the way, Kraft, the maker of Jell-o, wants you to know that hooves do not contain the necessary collagen and therefore are not used in the production of its products. Isn't that a relief!

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