Gelatin Side Effects + Benefits

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 03/03/22 •  8 min read

What are gelatin benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are gelatin pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

gelatin benefits and side effects

Food is something we consume every day. If you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on gelatin benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about gelatin benefits and side effects. This will include gelatin benefits for your health and potential risks, gelatin water footprint and carbon footprint, sustainability, if gelatin is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if gelatin are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about gelatin benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Top Gelatin Benefits And Side Effects

HEALTH

Energy: gelatin helps brain function, feeling full longer, improved memory, improve sleep, possibly ease osteoporosis pain, possibly improve joint and bone health, reduce appetite, reduce the symptoms of some mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia and OCD | gelatin increases the risk of burping, upset stomach

Longevity: gelatin helps gut health, reduce liver damage, slower cancer growth, treat type 2 diabetes

Appearance: gelatin is good for / helps increase moisture and collagen density of the skin, possibly improve the appearance of skin, improve hair thickness and growth, weight loss | gelatin increases the risk of bloating

Gelatin is…

ENVIRONMENT

Water footprint: unknown

Carbon footprint: unknown

Destruction: high, gelatin production is relatively destructive, land usage for pasture, grain and forage, solid waste (excrement/manure) runoff into soil and freshwater, deforestation for feed crops, animal agriculture leading cause of: species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction, responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction

Gelatin is…

ANIMALS

Kills: various animals, gelatin is from the animal collagen, popular sources are beef, pork, lamb, chicken and fish

Harms: various animals, popular sources of gelatin are beef, pork, lamb, chicken and fish

Indirectly kills or harms: ecosystems and wildlife

Gelatin is…

LABORERS

Health and safety: hazardous, meat processing workers have some of the highest rates of occupational injury and illness in the USA, the work environment in processing plants is dirty, dangerous, at times machines that injure workers by crushing, amputating, burning and slicing them, workers use tools such as knives, hooks, scissors, and saws, injuries include cuts, stabs, infections, scars, scratches, missing fingers, swollen joints, working conditions are humid, slippery, loud, hot or below freezing resulting in respiratory problems, skin infections and falls, workers experience

Living conditions: poor, workers must process thousands of animals per day, they are pressured to work as fast as possible, rest breaks and bathroom breaks are discouraged or denied, many workers must wear diapers, they experience stress, physical and emotional pain

Wages: low, in the USA workers earn under $15 an hour, they often must work faster so companies can profit more

Gelatin has…

Where does most gelatin come from?

The world’s top gelatin exporting country is USA, followed by UK, Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Germany, China, France, Brazil and Denmark.

Is gelatin nutritious?

No. Gelatin is high in arginine and an incomplete protein because it doesn’t contain all the essential amino acids. 

gelatin is acidic.

acidic foods and alkaline diet benefits that improve ph levels

Is gelatin alkaline or acidic? Gelatin is acidic. What is the pH level of gelatin? Gelatin has an 6.0 pH level once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

gelatin is gluten free.

glutinous foods have side effects but a gluten free diet can help

Is gelatin gluten free? Yes, gelatin is gluten free. Gelatin does not contain gluten.

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

gelatin is not a common food allergen.

side effects of common food allergens like milk, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and crustaceans

Is gelatin a common food allergen? No, gelatin is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to gelatin but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

These foods account for about 90% of all food allergies in the United States.

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

gelatin is unsustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is gelatin eco friendly? Is gelatin sustainable?

Gelatin production is relatively unsustainable.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

A 2010 United Nations report said that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world the worst impacts of climate change.

gelatin is not vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is gelatin vegan? No, gelatin is not vegan. Gelatin is from collagen from animal body parts, therefore making it an animal-derived food. An animal must die in order to produce gelatin. 

Animals of factory farming are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. Growth hormones allow all kinds of animals to become fatter faster and live short lives.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

gelatin is a product that has labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Sadly, many labor concerns exist around the world in both developed and developing countries. We must be vigilant to ensure what we buy is not contributing to industries that are unfair to their valuable workers. Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Sources:

WebMD: Gelatin

Gelatin – Agricultural Marketing Service – USDA

Adriane Marie

Grocery Guru, Material Maven, Conscious Consumer Connoisseur. I organize ethical info for us to comprehensively see how purchases impact people, animals and the planet. I hope you find HEALabel helpful! Use it for personal and global improvement and empowerment.