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Is Sugar Vegan?

organic sugar vegan

Can Vegans Eat Sugar?

So we know vegans don’t eat meat or any animal or animal-derived products but have we considered sugar? Many people when uneducated about veganism and its lifestyle often think that vegans are number one extremely healthy and number two only eat salad and then find themselves asking “do vegans eat sugar?” Well, the truth is yes, veganism allows you to consume sugar and many sugar-based products, however, it has never really been looked into deeply, and in order to understand veganism and sugar, we need to understand where sugar actually comes from and how it lands up in our cupboards and produced in all its different types and forms. Saying that there are also some forms of sugar that are considered to be non-vegan and for some very particular reasons indeed. Following are some frequently asked questions about veganism and sugar.

Brown Sugar

vegan and sugar

Let’s talk about brown sugar, is it vegan? Well in some cases, yes but in others no, and here’s why. Sugar is a base ingredient, it is present in thousands of food products and is a staple in most households which means it is traded, imported, and exported in large quantities and extremely frequently. Now the problem and the reasons that many types of sugars including brown sugar are not vegan is because of the use of Bone Char, Bone Char is actually ground up cattle bones which comes from countries such as India, Argentina, and Afghanistan. Bone Char is used in order to give sugar in crystal white color because it actually takes away the natural color sugar has. Bone Char is in fact used in brown sugar too even though it does not have that white appearance but this is because f the molasses that is added to it to make it brown. Many manufacturers don’t state whether Bone Char has been used in the production of their sugar, so it is virtually impossible to know whether it’s vegan or not but luckily there are many vegan brown sugar brands out there that guarantee it’s fully vegan and ethical production and ingredients.

Some Vegan Brown Sugar Brands Include

  • Zulka
  • Sugar in the Raw
  • Now Foods Turbinado Sugar

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar is made when sugar that is finely ground is combined with cornstarch to produce a thicker and less grainy type of sweetener which is often used in baking and desserts. The veganism aspect of powdered sugar is all dependant on the origin of the original sugar that is added to the cornstarch, if this is vegan then your powdered sugar is too. Now, this can be very tricky to work out especially if you don’t know if the sugar inside is actually vegan or not, the best advice I can give is to buy a fully vegan product, available in the vegan section, or vegan supermarkets.

Cane Sugar

can vegans eat sugar

Cane sugar is in fact considered to be non-vegan, well in the majority of cases at least. This is because of the use of Bone Char during the refining process. However saying this one can find alternatives, for example buying unrefined cane sugar will ensure its veganism status as well as organic, raw and natural. So when searching for the perfect cane sugar for you, look out for these labels on the products you intend to buy.

Confectioners Sugar

Icing sugar, unlike most sugars that have been refined, does not actually contain Bone Char, but it contains another product which means it is not vegan friendly. Present in many brands of icing sugar or confectioners sugar is dried egg white, yes dried egg white. This means that finding a vegan icing sugar is only made more difficult for us vegans and thus vegan brands are pretty much the only option to avoiding consuming animal-derived products.

Refined Sugar

There are two types of refined sugar, one being beet sugar and the other cane sugar. While can sugar is in most cases not vegan because of the use of Bone Char, beet sugar is always vegan, yay! Beet sugar even without the animal product addition has the same, taste and texture and can be enjoyed in the same way without causing any animal harm or cruelty.

Granulated Sugar

do vegans eat sugar

Unfortunately, the sugar that you spoon into your tea and add to the top of your pancakes is in fact not vegan because of the use of bone char, however bearing in mind that this is not the case with every brand of granulated sugar and most commonly appears within the US and UK, so the best advice I can give you is to do your research into the particular brand before making your purchase.

Organic Sugar

Yes, a win for the vegans out there, organic sugar is in fact vegan and always vegan, there are no exceptions, hidden ingredients, or false advertising. Organic sugar cannot be filtered through bone char and thus is unrefined meaning it is one hundred percent vegan and always a great and healthier sugar option for you.

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