Oreos are those delicious chocolate cookie sandwiches with creamy “stuffing” packed in them.
There’s been a long-held belief in the vegan community that Oreos are vegan-friendly, but the question is whether or not the beloved Oreo is in fact, vegan.
If you look at the ingredients list on a package of Oreos, you’ll see that America’s favorite cookie is made of sugar, unbleached enriched flour, high oleic canola or palm or canola oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, leavening, cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin, and chocolate.
At first glance, there is nothing wrong with this list of ingredients, but the reality is a bit more complicated than it first seems.
What Makes Something Vegan?
Veganism goes a step beyond vegetarianism. Whereas vegetarians avoid eating meat, vegans try to avoid all animal product consumption. This includes dairy, honey, and eggs.
Things get a bit more complicated when you ask different vegans whether this product or that product counts. For example, some people are just dietary vegans and they’re fine with animal products as long as they aren’t eating them. Others are lifestyle vegans and try to avoid animal products that include fur and leather.
There’s also the question of what constitutes an animal. For example, B12 comes from meat, hemp seeds, and bacteria. Some vegans feel that the bacteria produced B12 found in supplements goes against their style of veganism while others do not. Additionally, insulin is made from yeast and other bacteria.
Some people would say that taking insulin is non-vegan-friendly whereas others say that exceptions have to be made in specific medical situations.
Others go as far as to say that certain plants are not vegan-friendly because they harm more animals than other plants. Palm oil, found in Oreos, is an example of this. Although palm oil comes from palm trees, many vegans feel like they should avoid this ingredient because it has a very negative impact on the environment and hurts animals who depend on palm trees in their ecosystem.
So although all vegans agree that veganism is about avoiding animal products, it’s clear that vegans draw the line differently one from another.
Are Oreos Vegan?
Since vegans define “animal products” and “consumption” differently from one another, it’s hard to give a straight answer to this question.
Nothing listed in the Oreo ingredient list is an animal product, but some vegans may feel hesitant about consuming anything made with palm oil.
Additionally, Oreos are made in factories which also handle dairy products. In fact, on Oreo’s United Kingdom website, Oreo went as far as to say that:
“Oreo cookies are not vegan because of the likely contact Oreos have had with other dairy products in our factories.”
So although milk is not listed on Oreo’s ingredient list, they still believe that their cookies have come into contact with enough dairy that the cookie cannot be considered vegan.
In another section Oreo even goes as far as to say that their cookie is not lactose-free, even though milk and other dairy products are not listed anywhere on their ingredients list.
Most vegans would say this disqualifies Oreos from being vegan but others may have less of a problem with accidental contact and would just prefer to avoid intentional contact with animal products.
So are Oreos vegan? That’s kind of up to you and where you draw the line when it comes to your own dietary restrictions. Just be aware that Oreo does not consider their cookie to be vegan.
With Fresh n’ Lean, You Don’t Have To Worry If Your Food Is Vegan
No matter where you fall on the great Oreo debate, there is one thing we should all be able to agree on. Being vegan can be hard sometimes and questions like, “Are Oreos vegan,” just add unnecessary complications to breakfast, lunch, and dinner that don’t need to be there.
Fresh n’ Lean can take away all of that and make eating simple again.
Our Fresh n’ Lean chefs make amazing meals out of in-season ingredients that are suitable for vegans of all stripes and standards. Our vegan meal delivery service has been a real blessing to those who are trying to keep vegan while not spending all of their spare time planning their next meal.
Our food is organic, in-season, healthy, and vegan, basically it’s everything you need and nothing that you’re trying to avoid.
Forget about the Oreos and check out our menu instead to see if going vegan with Fresh n’ Lean is the right choice for you.