Being a vegan is at times tougher than being a vegetarian. To understand this you need to figure out the difference first. Vegans avoid animal products, while vegetarians don’t eat animals. Vegetarians may consume products coming from animals like dairy and eggs.
Fortunately, in today’s world, no matter what your food habit is, you can always have your favourite desserts with some twist. Be it a slice of nice truffle cake, or a cookie, you can have it all.
Wait. We said cookie. Did we say Oreo? Are Oreos vegan?
Whether Oreo is vegan or not this is kind of a never-ending debate. The ingredients of Oreo cookies have remained largely unchanged from the original. Alternative varieties and flavours have been added from time to time. But the classic Oreo cookie is made using some basic ingredients like unbleached enriched flour, sugar, palm and/or canola oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, leavening agent, corn starch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin, and chocolate.
There’s no mention of milk, eggs, butter, or other dairy products. The list of ingredients hints Oreo to be a vegan-friendly treat.
PETA says Oreos are vegan
PETA on May 6, 2018, came up with a post and tweeted “ It’s true, #Oreos are #vegan! Did you know all these other snacks are too? #NationalOreoDay”. It shared an article with a list of 20 accidentally vegan food and ‘Nabisco Oreo 100 Cal Thin Crisps’ featured in the same. The article did give birth to a lot of controversies. Social media raised questions about the existence of corn syrup, palm oil, etc. To such a query PETA replied, “Generally, we don’t promote foods containing palm oil. We occasionally make exceptions to show the public how easy it can be to find foods that are free of animal-derived ingredients.”
— PETA (@peta) March 6, 2018
PETA’s claim was not much satisfactory for vegan enthusiasts. But what if the manufacturer comes with a definite answer? Earlier we mentioned how Oreo can be termed as a vegan-friendly product but the definition of vegan-friendly is not very simple. For a food item to be qualified as vegan-friendly it has to avoid connection with the animal product by all means. Even one percent of association with the same will not count the food as a vegan.
Oreos are not vegan says Oreo’s FAQ section
The FAQ section from Oreo’s U.K. site started circulating throws light upon the topic. A question there asks “Is Oreo suitable for Vegans?” and answers “No, Oreo has milk as cross-contact and therefore are not suitable for vegans.” Cross contact means that a portion of food might come into contact with other food during production. Two different products may be made on the same machine and hence Oreos can get in touch with products with milk at the base.
Although some bloggers wanted more clarifications and went on to ask the US team of Oreo for the same and got the same answer. Moreover, Mondalez International, the parent company of Oreo also insisted that Oreos are not vegan.
This means small amounts of milk may have come into contact during the production of those round-shaped magical snacks. You are not consuming milk made biscuit but you are certainly not having a vegan-friendly product.