Although gelatin is a source of protein, it has no other nutritional value. For example, in the 1960’s, people used liquid gelatin (known as liquid protein) in order to lose weight. However, unlike other sources of protein, gelatin can cause a net loss in protein, especially when eaten exclusively.
According to Yahoo dictionary, gelatin is made from a brittle protein created by boiling the specially prepared skin, bones, and connective tissue of animals(sometimes with pig and cow hooves). It is often found in candies (especially gummy), medicines, yogurts, marshmallows, and other processed foods. However, there is a vegetarian substitute call agar agar, and they do make vegetarian gelatin(perhaps Whole Foods or Trader Joes).
Gelatin is made from animal bone char. This means that it is the ground bones and hooves of animals that were slaughtered for meat or other products. For this reason, many vegans avoid anything containing gelatin. It can be substituted by using agar agar in the place of animal bone char in the boiling process. This can be purchased at most health food stores.
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