One such culprit, according to the news source, is the popular candy Peeps. These marshmallow creations contain gelatin derived from pork. For many consumers, the origin of gelatin in their foods is not all that important. But for others, including vegans, vegetarians and those following kosher or halal diets, eating a pork product can be distressing.
However, this ingredient information, while available on the website of Peeps' manufacturer, cannot be found on the label of the product. The government requires that the eight most common allergens, including milk, eggs, shellfish and peanuts, must be listed on food labels. Other ingredients can often be lumped into the phrase "natural flavorings" and other not easily identifiable phrases.
"It may be derived from wheat, it may be derived from strawberries — you just don't know," dietitian Janeen Leon told the publication.
Another tricky term not well understood by consumers is "food starch," states the newspaper. This could include gelatin, starch, corn or other products, but can be difficult to discern.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working to make food labels more clear and direct.