by Jeanne Yacoubou, MS
VRG Research Director
A reader contacted The VRG in July 2011 telling us that she had heard reports from a manager at her local Moe’s® Southwest Grill in Florida that the black beans at that restaurant chain possibly contained non-vegetarian calcium stearate. She also had heard that the whole grain tortilla contained honey. The reader asked The VRG to confirm if this information was true.
We contacted the Moe’s® manager asking him for more information regarding the black bean seasoning. He learned from a senior level employee at Moe’s® that the calcium stearate in the black bean seasoning was all-vegetable. A Singapore company which manufactures the calcium stearate used in the black bean seasoning sent an official declaration letter to him stating that “stearic acid, the raw material for the calcium stearate, is of vegetable-based origin (palm oil).”
The VRG also received confirmation from Moe’s® Southwest Grill that honey is an ingredient in the whole grain tortilla.
A manager at Moe’s® Southwest Grill told The VRG that all-vegetable bread products are available at Moe’s®. He stated that “the flour tortillas are vegan but contain enriched flour….Tacos can be made on a fried corn tortilla or a soft corn tortilla. All items can also be made without a tortilla.”
In a follow-up email requesting further clarification on the all-vegetable tortillas at Moe’s®, the manager told us that “whole wheat tortillas can be used for burritos and quesadillas. Corn tortillas can be used for tacos. Flour is the “standard” tortilla and can be used for any entree. Of these, only the whole wheat [tortilla] is non-vegan.”
Concerning other menu items at Moe’s®, The VRG was informed by the Florida Moe’s® manager that he has “…checked our pinto bean seasonings and they are vegan, as well as the rice and pico de gallo (all of which have their own seasoning additions).”
The contents of this article, our website, and our other publications, including The Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company employees or company statements.Information does change and mistakes are always possible. Please use your own best judgment about whether a product is suitable for you. Further research or confirmation may be warranted.
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