Stop eating that library paste!

As you may or may not be aware, I drink a fair bit of beer. I catalogue many of my beers each Wednesday here on my Beer Wednesday posts, but I only blog about those beers that I have pictures for and that I can be reasonably sure are vegan, thanks to Barnivore.com and the Vgan app on my phone.

Recently, while visiting my mother, I was drinking a decent little German hefe weizen called Franziskaner. If you are a fan of weissbeirs, you probably already have had this beer, and if not, now you have!

While checking whether or not this was a vegan beer, (I was 99.9% sure it was, since I’m familiar with the German beer purity laws) I found the explanation on the Vgan app where the brewer explained that they use no animal products either im the brewing process or in the clarifying process, thereby making the beer vegan.

Thats when I first discovered it!

The good folks over at Franziskaner did admit to using a caesin-based glue!

Yeah! Seriously! Not only are we using caesin in far too many things that we call “food,” but apparently it is a super common ingredient in label glue!

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WTF!?!?

Caesin, along with being really stretchy and good on pizza, (don’t judge me) makes a glue that will stick to cold, hot, or wet glass and plastic.

Now, I get that companies want their labels to stick, seriously, I do. I mean, I want to know which beer I’m drinking too so that I don’t accidentally start to swig some terrible macro-brew instead of an awesome craft beer, but really? I mean, really?

A while ago I visited the Dogfish Head brewery and had a similar disappointing experience when they made quite clear that they give their spent grain to local farms to feed to cows. . . the same cows that Dogfish then buys as beef for their restaurant.

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I love Dogfish Head’s beers. Maybe a bit too much, but I had to wonder, if they’re contributing to animals being turned into food, can I really call them vegan or vegan-friendly? The same question now makes me wonder about labeling. If caesin-based glus are the norm, can I assume that every beer that has a paper label is no longer vegan-friendly? Is that a line I need to draw?

(Side note, Stone Brewing Company makes great beer and uses painted-on labels)

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I think that there isn’t enough of a market for caesin-based glues that if the other uses for dairy went away that there would still be enough caesin in production to make it worthwhile as a glue. So I probably won’t stop drinking beers and wines with paper labels, but maybe when given the option, I’ll lean towards painted labels instead of paper ones.

What about you? Did you know about the common use of caesin as a glue? Does that change how you define “vegan-friendly” at all?

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~ by VegansHusband on December 1, 2014.

4 Responses to “Stop eating that library paste!”

  1. To this I say: Please let’s give ourselves a wee fucking break! These are the kinds of things we just cannot practically avoid; they are pervasive. (Even vegan product manufacturers likely have to use this for their own label.) We’d literally starve to death, and lose our jobs, while we tried to vet every material used in every bit of packaging we consume.

    Or we have to go naked, eat nothing but the food that we farm ourselves, and live in our eco-friendly tent. Actually a fantastic goal, but it isn’t really sustainable in a modern world. [We all (vegans and non-vegans) should absolutely continue to reduce the packaging we consume, every day. Reuse and recycle when we need to. And live more simply, with less stuff. That’s a given.]

    You, for example, are being uber conscientious about your choices. Drinking a vegan beer with questionable glue is a pass, as far as I am concerned. After all, look how long it has taken to raise the consciousness of consumers to get soy milk (not even only for vegans) into mainstream stores. Thinking that manufacturers will switch glue for 2% of the world’s population is crazy.

    Doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t constantly voice our objections to the use/exploitation of animals in all forms, and demand change. We do it every day by being vegan. So, let’s keep shouting…and drinking good beer (or whatever).

    [And taking medicine when you need it.]

    • Oh, I agree, I just always think about these things once I’ve found out about them. I feel like it’s the same way that I find out about factory farms. My first thought is “WTF?”

      Either way, I’ll keep drinking, shouting, and taking care of myself so that I can help others make good decisions. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. That’s just plain stupid. I had no idea that casein was in glue. That honestly makes me rethink how I feel about a lot of those places. My guess is that the manufacturers aren’t educated on the fact that the glue has casein in it either. I wouldn’t have ever even thought to ask.

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