It is a complicated no. Cookie Crisps are not suitable for vegans, even though the main ingredients of these sugary breakfast treats are plant-based. They contain substances that are questionable from a vegan standpoint.
Children of the 70s and 80s will never forget the tasty goodness of Cookie Crisp. A classic cereal originally made by Ralston Purina, Cookie Crisp is a great combination of a breakfast cereal and an all-time favorite baked sweets, chocolate chip cookies. Cookie Crisps are best enjoyed when served in a bowl and soaked in cold fresh milk.
Those people who grew up eating spoonfuls of Cookie Crisp every morning would want their children to experience the same sweet taste of this classic cereal snack. However, not every household may get to try Cookie Crisps, particularly those that follow a special diet. Vegans, for one, will need to do a little check first to confirm if Cookie Crisps are vegan-approved.
If you are one of those vegans who are looking forward to trying Cookie Crisps, you are in luck. This article will lay out all the facts to help you in your decision-making.
Are Cookie Crisps Vegan? They Don’t Contain Dairy
It is quite challenging to find a food product that does not have dairy. This is why vegans make an extra effort in discovering the actual ingredients of one product before considering buying it. Even the slightest trace of milk in the food would automatically make it non-vegan.
Dairy is almost always included in baked store-bought products. Manufacturers prefer using milk as a flavor enhancer or to adjust the texture of their products.
Since milk is often used in baking cookies, one couldn’t help but suspect if Cookie Crisps also contain dairy. After all, Cookie Crisps are like miniature chocolate chip cookies. Chances are they do have milk as one of their ingredients.
The good news, for now, is that Cookie Crisps are dairy-free. They do not contain animal-derived milk or fat to improve the taste and texture. They are actually made of whole wheat and grains, so they are often advertised as a healthy option for a snack.
Although, the amount of sugar present in Cookies Crisps defeats this healthy claim, and possibly its vegan-friendly status. More of this will be discussed later on.
Another solid indication that Cookie Crisps do not contain milk ingredients is their kosher label. But what does this label tell us?
The kosher classification is a way of labeling a certain food for religious purposes. This came from the kosher laws of Judaism, and one of these laws describes the kind of food that must be avoided.
Over the years, the kosher label has transcended from spiritual use to a dietary framework that guides people in choosing the right food for them. For one, spotting the kosher label on a food product is a good indication that the food is safe for vegan consumption.
The kosher label can be an indicator that a particular food is vegan-friendly because kosher-certified products are free from dairy. The first kosher dietary law states that the food must not contain milk or milk, or any ingredients derived from the two.
Therefore, a food product with the kosher label is guaranteed to have no dairy ingredients. Cookie Crisp has the word “pareve,” “parev,” or “parve” on its label, which is the equivalent of kosher certification.
At this point, we should be confident that Cookie Crisps do not contain dairy. However, there are other reasons why we should not give our full confidence to this product just yet. Cookie Crisps may not really have milk contents, but there are other ways that animal derivatives can sneak into our food.
Which Cookie Crisp Ingredients Are Likely To Be Non-Vegan?
As mentioned earlier, Cookie Crisps are made primarily of whole ingredients. They are rich in fiber, which is good for digestion. Although, there are other ingredients that may pose issues along the way.
For starters, let us list down all the known ingredients of Cookie Crisps, as read on the label.
- Whole grain corn
- White sugar
- Brown sugar
- Rice bran
- Canola oil
- Yellow corn flour
- Cocoa processed with alkali
- Corn syrup
- Food coloring
- Trisodium phosphate
- Natural and artificial flavor
By inspecting the entire list, we can confirm that all of the main ingredients of Cookie Crisps are derived from plant sources. It is also encouraging to see the manufacturer using canola oil for the product instead of the traditional cooking oil based on animal fat.
Does this already mean that Cookie Crisps are 100% vegan? Not just yet. Even if none of the main ingredients came from animal derivatives, we must also consider how each of these ingredients was processed.
This might sound surprising to others, especially the newbie vegans, but sugar is not vegan most of the time. While sugar is extracted from the sugarcane plant and in no way has any animal byproducts, manufacturers use animal remains to refine sugar.
Bone char, to be more specific, is an effective refining agent to filter out all the impurities in a substance. Bone char is usually made of cow bones, but bones of other cattle can be used instead.
Cattle bones from countries such as Afghanistan, Argentina, India, and Pakistan are usually the source of bone char. It is traded and sold to different sugar manufacturers all over the world. The primary purpose of bone char is to produce purely white refined sugar.
That being said, since we saw that Cookie Crisps contain loads of sugar, we couldn’t help but suspect that the sugar used in the product was bone char-refined. If that were the case, then Cookie Crisps are no longer vegan-approved.
We are not sure if the white and brown sugar listed in Cookie Crisp’s ingredients are refined. Even if they were, we are also not sure if bone char was used in refining the sugar or if there were other physical or chemical means to filter sugar.
The best way to confirm is to contact the manufacturer right away and ask about the details of their sugar as an ingredient. You may opt to get the contact details of the sugar supplier so you can ask the question firsthand.
Animal-Derived Vitamins And Minerals
Aside from sugar, there are other reasons for Cookie Crisps to be non-vegan. This time around, we listed all the vitamins and minerals added to the product. Here are as follows:
- Calcium carbonate
- Tricalcium phosphate
- Vitamin C
- A B Vitamin (niacinamide)
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B (thiamin mononitrate)
- Vitamin A (palmitate)
- A B Vitamin (folic acid)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D3
Here’s the interesting part: it is more likely that animal derivatives will sneak into a food product by fortifying it with vitamins and minerals. We are more confident that the actual ingredients of Cookie Crisps are plant-based. When it comes to the added minerals, there is high uncertainty about their source.
For one, there are many possible sources of calcium carbonate that are added to food. It can come from rocks with naturally-occurring minerals. In this case, the source is vegan-friendly. However, calcium carbonate can also be extracted from seashells, thus making it an animal byproduct.
Another possible animal derivative is the source of vitamin D3 in Cookie Crisps. D3 is usually derived from sheep’s lanolin. With this, there is a chance that the vitamin D3 in food products is actually animal-based.
The only known vitamin D that comes from plants is D2. Meanwhile, there are no other known plant sources of vitamin D3 except for lichens. It is unlikely for a food manufacturer to include lichen-extracted substances in their products.
Even if that’s the case, it would be explicitly stated in the label that the source of vitamin D3 is plant-based.
This cookie breakfast cereal is certified dairy-free, plus its main ingredients all come from plant sources. However, we need more clarification about the source of the vitamins and minerals included in this product.
It should be easy to declare Cookie Crisps as suitable for a vegan diet, given all the information that we have. Unfortunately, it is not yet safe to say that the product is right for vegans.
It is your call if you want to take the risk of trying Cookie Crisps, in spite of the uncertainties. If you want to be on the safe side, it is better to avoid this product until more information arrives.