The initial decision to turn vegan revolves around the sacrifices you will have to make. It is a common misconception that vegan dishes are not delicious. Many make these empty claims without diving into veganism’s range of delicacies.
The major roadblock comes when the choices are stuck on the snacks that have formed a massive part of your childhood. The first brand that might knock at your memories could be Lay’s. You definitely remember it from every party and every soccer game you attended.
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Are Lay’s BBQ Chips Vegan?
There is a straightforward truth about this whole discussion regarding Lay’s BBQ chips. The truth is that the original BBQ flavor is entirely suitable for people who have adopted veganism. But Lay’s never stopped at a single variant – you can choose between multiple variants with specific tweaks.
There has been a lot of discussion about the barbeque flavor of Lay’s. The question of whether it is vegan or not is still unanswered. If you, too, have that ambiguity in mind, which is why you have been refraining from buying Lay’s, you have come to the right place.
Some of these variants are much more than regular chips and involve ingredients not accepted by veganism norms. The best way to escape this issue is by knowing that all flavors are vegan. Here is a list of the options you can purchase without guilt, even following a vegan diet.
What Are My Options?
There are plenty of available options.
Lay’s BBQ Original
The original BBQ-flavored Lay’s is the most popular variant of the whole category. It is the most successful variant and is sold in voluminous amounts. It is created using raw herbs and spices.
The main ingredients are potato, vegetable oil, BBQ seasoning (fully vegan), molasses, torula yeast, and herbs and spices. It also considers plant-based ingredients such as tomato powder and cornstarch. The only thing that gauges the attention of vegans is the caramel color used.
Caramel is created using lactose, but caramel color is far from it. If you are craving a bag of Lay’s, Lay’s BBQ can always be a good option.
Lay’s Lightly Salted BBQ
The lightly salted version of the BBQ-flavored Lay’s is a complete package. It is suitable for people who are not fond of spices and herbs. It is a mild snack that people from all age groups can enjoy.
The ingredients are incredibly identical to the original variant, which is why you can rest easy regarding the preparation. The blue packet on the aisle is your savior. Grab it before anyone else does!
Lay’s Simply BBQ Flavored Thick Cut Chips
This version of Lay’s resembles their kettle-cooked version and is a bit more expensive than the others. The reason behind this is the organic variants used to create this product. The necessary ingredients remain the same, but they are more organic and are free from chemicals than the normal variants.
There are a few other varieties of Lay’s that are vegan-friendly. They are not specifically of the BBQ category but can be purchased if you are craving potato chips.
What Should I Avoid?
After knowing what you can buy, the next wise thing is what you cannot buy. You have to understand that some products might look vegan, but they are not. They have some ingredients which take that tag away from them. Here are a couple of variants that you should keep in mind.
Lay’s Sweet Southern Heat BBQ
The sweet southern heat is the first flavor you should completely rule out. The product would have ideally been qualified to be vegan, but some cheddar cheese is involved too. This single ingredient makes the whole flavor devoid of vegan characteristics.
Almost all the other constituents are the same as the other options except the flavored spices.
Lay’s Honey BBQ
As the name suggests, honey is the leading cause of the problem in this variant. The process carried out to extract honey is against the fundamentals of veganism. It causes pain and discomfort to the honey bees.
Are Lay’s Varieties Truly Vegan?
The answer to this question lies in how you follow veganism. If you follow it for its dietary benefits, the answer is yes; these chips are vegan. They do not contain anything that is an animal product.
But if you follow it because you support a violence-free outlook towards life and are active towards equal rights for animals, your answer might be different from the others. The processes used by Lay’s and PepsiCo, in general, incorporate the use of this substance called Conflict Palm Oil. It is a vital ingredient and therefore holds a lot of importance in the entire chain of operations.
What Is Conflict Palm Oil?
The oil sourced from oil plants such as the African oil palm is called palm oil. It is abundant in the subcontinents of Africa, Brazil, and Asia. The people there use it for many things because of its surplus presence.
However, the commercial food industry is a hit for other reasons. It is cheaper than other sources of oil and has excellent saturation levels in its refined version. Companies tend to capitalize on this aspect, which is a significant ingredient.
Oil extraction is a major environmental threat, so vegans are against this substance. They believe that there are plenty of other sources to carry out operations, but companies put their interests ahead of the greater good.
Implications of Extraction
Various implications have a decimating effect on nature’s balance.
Abuse of Environment
Since palm oil is a crucial component of the commercial food industry, its demand never falls. With such high orders in place, humongous chunks of land must be cleared so these oil plants can be planted and their benefits reaped.
The cost of this plantation comes from messing with the symbiotic ecosystem. Diversity is continuously under threat as more habitats are being wiped away. Demolition is also responsible for adding to carbon emissions. Cleaning up just a hectare of land is responsible for thousands of tons of released carbon.
It is also causing deforestation on a massive scale. Almost half of the indigenous and original species of plants have been wiped away. All these things are responsible for hindering environmental stability, resulting in natural calamities.
Abuse of Animals
When these forests are cleared, many inhabitants lose their habitat. They wander around to search for a new settlement, even when it is arduous. Many animal species got extinct only because they had to migrate to a different habitat, which did not fall within their comfort zone.
These canopies of trees also help the animals to stay undercover. With hunting and poaching activities on the rise, these trees are critical for animals to stay safe. However, when there is massive deforestation, these animals are left out in the open. This arrangement makes them straight and easy bait for the hunters.
Abuse of Humans
There are a lot of tribes that have found their tenements amidst the vastness of the jungles. Their indigenous tribes are struck with horror and are left to die. Sometimes entire villages must be dislocated so the area can be cleared for plantation.
There have also been many reports involving child labor in palm oil production. Many organizations, such as Peta and Cry, have been advocating for the rights of these children.
The definition of the word vegan can vary from person to person. Lay’s BBQ chips are a great snack that can be enjoyed without harming any animal. However, the steps taken by these big conglomerates are often brutal for the environment. The choice lies in the hands of the consumer to correct these decisions of these brands.
If you are flexible with your vegan diet, almost all Lay’s variants can be a part of your snack routine. You can grab the mentioned variants if you feel like devouring a packet of BBQ Lay’s without feeling guilty. Let the munching begin!