As a dairy-free vegetarian (okay, I realize that as someone who eats vegan daily, I really need to work on making that label a bit smoother), I am always looking for resources to make my meals healthier and my decisions wiser. I like to stay informed and truly understand the products that I use in my kitchen and on my body.
Because of this, I had high hopes for Veganissimo A to Z. This book which is arranged as an index of almost every non-recognizable food and product ingredient. Each entry clearly communicates whether the ingredient comes from plant or animal sources and explains what the purpose of the ingredient is (i.e. a preservative or thickener). The depth of each entry makes it possible to truly understand the additives that are in each of the products in your home.
Some of the ingredient details are horrifying (Reuben Proctor and Lars Thomsen spare no details in order to ensure that readers fully understand why specific additives are not vegan-friendly). There are specific details about musk and lanolin, for example, and information about lesser known ingredients that are sure to crop up in shampoos, conditioners and lotions.
While the wealth of information in this book is vast, it was a bit overwhelming for daily use. Additionally, because the book couldn’t specify whether a specific ingredient actually came from, it often left me with more questions than answers. This book is definitely a good resource for someone trying to be completely in tune with their understanding of the products that they use, but with a stronger sense of consumer awareness, and excellent online ingredient databases, I think that this is too overwhelming for me, and I will stick with a good online resource instead.