What's in the Name ORGANIC

July 17, 2016

What's in the Name ORGANIC

Organic vs Vegan. Gelatin vs Carrageenan.

There's a lot to be said for being very clear in one's signage and packaging. But it's an another thing to actually get people to read the signs and packaging properly. That is something I can't control.

So this post is to clear up a couple of misconceptions:

ORGANIC VS VEGAN

I make and sell organic candy. For the most part, people get it.

Organic lollipops, sure we've all seen those before; 

organic caramels, yeah why not...I can see that;

organic marshmallows, whaaaaat??? What makes a marshmallow organic? Does that mean it's vegan?

It's my marshmallows that always throw people for a loop. So here's the scoop.

ORGANIC DOES NOT MEAN VEGAN.

Yes, I use all organic ingredients. Organic sugar, organic fruit, organic tea. But also includes organic porcine gelatin (see more on gelatin below).

I make my own invert sugar (syrup) so there is no corn syrup in my mallows. This also allows me to keep all the ingredients organic and it makes the mallows lighter and fluffier than those others.

I also use organic powdered sugar which I mix with organic tapioca starch so the mallows are corn-free.

They are also dairy-free, egg-free. And ORGANIC.

 

GELATIN VS CARRAGEENAN

The other thing that throws people off when they think about marshmallows is gelatin. It says Contains Gelatin on my signs and packaging. But again, with organic, they think vegan. So let's talk about gelatin.

Gelatin is an animal by-product that is used as a gelling agent in foods. It's the thing in mallows that makes them spongey and squishy.

Yes, I use gelatin in my mallows. Organic porcine (pork) gelatin, to be specific. Gelatin is extracted from the skin, bones and connective tissues of animals (it is NOT just the hooves, as people like to say). And organic gelatin is extracted from livestock that has been raised on an organic farm without the use of GMO feed or hormones.

If you can have organic meat then yes, you can have organic gelatin (some people doubt that gelatin can be organic for some reason).

The next time you make a soup stock from your left over turkey carcass at Thanksgiving, notice how when you put it in the fridge it gels-up into a jelly. Well, that's the gelatin from the bones that you extracted through the boiling method. That's the good stuff in the broth that gives your body protein to fight colds, for instance.

Now, people ask about "vegan gelatin." There is no such thing as vegan gelatin, per se. But there are vegan substitutes for gelatin and they are labelled as such in any ingredient list (not mine, as I don't use these ingredients). These substitutes include:

  • agar agar, which is cooked and pressed algae,
  • carrageenan, carrageen, or Irish Moss, which is dried seaweed
  • vegan gel by Natural Desserts, which is made of vegetable gum, adipic acid, tapioca dextrin, calcium phosphate, and potassium citrate.

To say it differently, if you see gelatin on a package - it's an animal by-product. If you are vegan, then look for agar agar, carrageen or vegan gel. Only then, will you know, if it's vegan.

Because ...... Organic does not mean Vegan. And Gelatin is not Vegan.

I hope this clears things up a bit.