Answer: It depends.
If you have recently adopted veganism, you might be struggling with knowing if the popular food you grew up loving is okay for you to eat now. Vegans might indeed find a difficult time trying to get the most of their love for food with a massive dietary restriction. However, it doesn’t take time for people to find alternatives to the food they grew up liking.
Everybody likes snacks, but what gives a snack extra points if it is healthy and consumed by people with various dietary restrictions.
While Lemon Oreos might not be the best option for people who prefer healthy snacks, they are vegan-friendly. None of the ingredients used to make Oreos are derived from animals. This is true with both the original Oreos and Lemon Oreos.
The question of the complete vegan-friendliness of Oreos has been a topic of discussion for a while. The primary reason for this is the different production methods in different countries. If you have been craving some refreshing Lemon Oreos, you have come to the right place. Let’s discuss the question of Oreos being vegan in this article.
Lemon Oreos Ingredients
The best thing about Lemon Oreos is their all-vegan ingredients. Below is a list of all the ingredients.
- Wheat flour
- Palm oil
- Soy milk
- Low-fat cocoa powder
- Glucose-fructose syrup
- Lemon extracts
- Wheat starch
- Baking agent
- Palm kernel oil
Are Lemon Oreos Safe For Vegas?
As mentioned earlier, the ingredients used in all Oreo flavors are entirely vegan-friendly. None of the flavors, including the original and chocolate, are wholly made of plant-based ingredients.
When it comes to the Oreos themselves – yes, they are safe to consume.
However, many other factors affect this discussion.
Different Production And Ingredients In Different Countries
If you eat Oreos manufactured in India, you will not find any issues since the entire ingredient list is vegan. From the sugar and cookie to the cream, everything included in Oreos is entirely vegan. However, there might be an issue of palm oil extraction – something we will discuss later.
Even American-made Oreos have entirely vegan ingredients. However, there is not much information about how sugar is processed. The sugar may be whitened using bone-char, and there is some milk extract in the cookies. Therefore, Oreos, in general, regardless of the flavor, might not be vegan-friendly.
Even though Lemon Oreos are not listed in PETA’s vegan foods list, they are vegan due to the non-animal derived ingredients. Since many people wonder where the cream comes from, let us clear that it is made of soy instead of milk, making it vegan-friendly.
There is a small risk in consuming Lemon Oreos as a vegan because we do not know how the cookies are made, even if they have vegan ingredients. If you are traveling to some other countries, we strongly suggest checking the ingredients list for more details.
Many vegans are okay with cross-contamination and expect some compromise with their restriction when they eat outside.
Some experts say that the production lines of the company are not secluded. Therefore, everything the company manufactures is manufactured in the same room with the same machines and people.
If that is the case and there is no production isolation, there is a considerable possibility of cross-contamination within the factory. This means the milk for the milk chocolate might have minimal but some contact with the Oreos’ ingredients.
Cross-contamination is always a significant risk for vegans and vegetarians unless they have cooked the meal at home. While some vegans are alright with cross-contamination and view it as a pre-requisite of eating out, others are not okay with it.
Even though palm oil is not an animal product, it is considered non-vegan because of the environmental issues it causes.
The inclusion of non-organic palm oil as its primary ingredients is a huge issue because of the extraction process. Palm oil harvesting itself is very dangerous for the environment, and the process might even be more dangerous to the ecosystem than eating animal products.
Veganism is not only about not consuming animal-based products. The basis of the movement is to be kind of nature and everything around in it. However, palm oil extraction is neither kind of safe for nature, humans, and animals.
Why Companies Use Palm Oil?
Palm oil comes from small places in Asia, Brazil, and Africa. Since these places have palm oil in surplus, they tend to use it for just about anything. They sell palm oil for very cheap, making Western capitalists take leverage of the price.
When it comes to cost-cutting, using palm oil is the safest bet for any food industrialist. Not only does the oil come for cheap, but it also results in similar food as other oils. Therefore, if looked at from a purely economic and business point of view, there is nothing wrong with using palm oil.
Why Is Palm Oil Bad?
We have discussed some of the implications below:
- Environmental Abuse: Due to the excessive demand for palm oil, cultivating extra trees and cutting them down is terrible for the symbiotic ecosystem. Palm oil demand and extraction lead to a loss of diversity and deforestation, both hazardous things for the environment.
- Human Abuse: The process of extracting palm oil is very excruciating and might be dangerous for humans. Therefore, it is not safe for so many people to get involved in the process. Palm oil production also leads to modern slavery.
- Habitat Loss: Many orangutans and other animals that reside in forests lose their habitat and livelihood due to palm oil production. Many habitats are destroyed, rendering no space for some animals to live, leading them to unhealthy lifestyles and, eventually, death.
The Company’s FAQ
One of the biggest reasons why the entire debate of whether or not Lemon Oreos are vegan has stirred up is because of the company’s FAQs. On their website, there is a question regarding the vegan-friendliness of Lemon Oreos.
The company has written that Lemon Oreos might have traces of milk due to cross-contamination. Therefore, they are not suitable to eat for a vegan. However, other than that, there is no issue.
If you are okay with slight cross-contamination, you might as well go ahead and consider Lemon Oreos vegan.
Are Lemon Oreos Healthy?
Lemon Oreos are meant to be snacks you consume only now and then. Therefore, if you eat them in moderation, you will not have to worry about the product’s healthiness. However, the important information you should know is that each packet of Lemon Oreos contains 150 calories, out of which 60 are from fat.
Whether or not you consider Lemon Oreos vegan is your choice depending on several factors. If you have accepted that there is hardly anything you can do to control most of the food production outside of your kitchen, you might consume Lemon Oreos. However, eating Lemon Ores might be a huge problem for other vegans.
If you ask us, the cross-contamination is not your fault, and no animals were hurt to make your Oreos. However, if you are concerned about the palm oil extraction implications, you should not consume Lemon Oreos.