Answer: It depends.
If you’re looking for a 100% vegan brand for refried beans, there may be better options than Rosarita.
You might ask, are Rosarita refried beans vegan, vegetarian, or neither? Is there a difference? A vegan meal is not only vegetarian but free of any animal byproduct too. The community may assume these refried beans to be vegan (well, technically), but the brand neither confirms nor denies it.
Organic certification is an indicator of quality products and not vegan products. Rosarita has been certified for its organic variants, but there isn’t enough consensus over whether those are entirely vegan. Although the majority of the ingredients are vegetarian, there is some ambiguity with the rest.
Ideally, you should read the label and product information while drawing any conclusion. While shopping for vegan refried beans, you may come across a few vegan-certified brands. Rosarita is not one of them. In this article, we’ve addressed the concerns surrounding Rosarita Refried Beans and alternate options too!
The Community’s Concerns And Challenges
The vegan community is expanding every day. With a larger audience questioning the accuracy of food labels, the food industry has become increasingly aware of its role.
Companies have avoided adding unnecessary tags to their products as they may draw attention to other processes. They could be held liable for misleading the audience! To stay on the safer side, many companies avoid labeling themselves as vegan too.
Rosarita’s Refried Beans come in many variations. These include their Traditional Refried Beans and their Low Fat Black Beans that have lard in them. That raises questions about cross-contamination, which is unavoidable in these circumstances.
The most relevant ones for any vegan are the Rosarita Vegetarian Refried Beans and the Rosarita Organic Refried Beans. While the organic variant has its due certification, neither of these are certified as vegan.
Certifications And Ingredients
The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and the Food Trade Commission (FTC) have not defined trace ingredients. That makes it easier to get away with traces of milk or any other derivatives. The FDA and FTC do not define veganism themselves either.
The Certified Vegan Logo is a registered and globally recognized trademark you may have come across. Their website answers a few questions regarding what can be considered animal trace products.
A few ingredients that may be animal-based in any uncertified vegan brand include:
- Vitamin D
- Hyaluronic acid
Rosarita’s Organic Refried Beans are often considered vegan by major shopping websites too. Although, they do have disclaimers for these products that absolve them of any responsibility.
This is the list of ingredients declared by Rosarita for their Organic Refried Beans:
- Cooked Organic Pinto Beans
- Organic Chili Pepper
- Organic Garlic Powder
- Onion PowderChili Pepper
- Organic Cumin
- Organic Rice Fiber
- 2% or lesser of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2% or lesser of Organic Coconut Oil
- Natural Flavors (Sunflower Oil)
Sunflower oil is usually mild and has little flavor. It wouldn’t be considered a natural flavor. When companies such as Rosarita do not declare the list of their “Added Flavors,” the ambiguity increases.
Rosarita’s website also says that the “Natural Flavors” in their products may be derived from plants, meats, or even dairy items.
It also applies to brands such as El Paso.
A relevant question you can ask yourself is, “Wouldn’t this be certified or labeled vegan if it was 100% vegan?”.
The relevance varies from person to person. While there are people who mind this vagueness, there are those who don’t. It applies the same logic as using honey in meals- a few are comfortable with it, a few are not. The choice lies with you.
Allergies are common immune responses to specific items. According to the FDA, there are a few commonly known ones: soybeans, eggs, milk, and peanuts.
Brands such as Rosarita list soy as a possible allergen in their Organic Vegetarian and Vegetarian Traditional Refried Beans. They do not, however, mention milk or eggs.
A note suggests that they follow the FDA guidelines for allergens which means that they may be dairy-free and poultry-free.
They also mention that they do not use lard in this equivalent which rules out another possibility of using an animal item.
That does not take into consideration the trace ingredients or derivatives that may be animal-based. It’s also necessary to read all product information about this, in line with the guidelines that exist, to understand it better.
It doesn’t make you any lesser of a vegan if you choose to buy products from these brands. The scope of the industry is immense, yet the developments are slow. The choices available to the vegan community are feeble in comparison. Accessibility, too, can be a problem at times.
If you are uncomfortable with the ambiguity that comes with most brands, you can opt for safer alternatives. These can be natural, certified, or declared by the company’s official website or media.
Amy’s Vegetarian Traditional Refried Beans
A spicy, flavorful, and delicious item, Amy’s Organic Vegetarian Traditional Refried Beans are vegan-friendly. Pinto beans blended with traditional spices, onion, and garlic make this product a safer and tasty alternative.
Vegan and Mexican households, especially in Central and Southeastern states, will love this product.
What’s better about this product is its price. Priced at just $2.99 per 15 oz can, this vegan product is worth it. Although there may be cheaper products available, the assurance you get with Amy’s Organic Vegetarian Traditional Refried Beans is unmatched. You can buy it at Walmart or even order it online!
Along with the information available on their website, Amy’s is transparent with their flavors. There is no room for ambiguity there.
The ingredients are as follows:
- Organic Pinto Beans
- Organic Onions
- Organic Garlic
- Organic Spices
- Sea Salt
- Filtered Water
- Organic High Oleic Safflower And Sunflower Oil
Amy’s Organic Vegetarian Traditional Refried Beans are also wholly gluten-free and have no preservatives. With the existing benefits of pinto beans in protein and vitamin intake, their refried beans are a treat.
They are also certified as organic by the US Department of Agriculture. Guaranteeing their non-GMO and non-BPA lined cans, they are free of any toxins and animal traces. What’s not great about this brand?
Natural Pinto Beans
Entirely plant-based and vegan-friendly, pinto beans are a natural source of protein and fiber. They can be used for typically American breakfast meals and Mexican, Portuguese, Spanish, and Mediterranean cuisines.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United States is one of the top 10 countries that produces dried beans. America produced 932,220 tons of dried beans in 2019 alone. North Dakota is reportedly the highest producer of dried beans, followed by Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Idaho.
That should tell you that the United States is blessed with enough dried beans. They’re readily available at your local grocery store or even on any online website. They’re also far cheaper- just $0.15 for dry beans per serving.
Mexican foods like tacos and burritos can also be made entirely vegan. Vegan recipes for these items use fresh, dried beans. They do, however, also leave it up to the user’s discretion.
Cooking your meals with organic and fresh ingredients leaves no room for vagueness. They’re always accurate and healthier too!
Concerns over a time-consuming day in the kitchen have also been put to rest by culinarians in the industry. They claim that dried beans don’t necessarily need to be soaked overnight or for a longer time.
Culinarians say that the earthy texture and flavor that unsoaked dried beans give you is unique and great for cooking!
Pinto beans, by themselves, are a brilliant alternative to meat and provide enough protein for you.
- 245-347 kcal
- 1g of fat
- 2mg of sodium
- 45g of carbohydrates
- 15g of fiber
- 15g of protein
- 0g of sugars
It’s marvelous how much value one cup of pinto beans would hold! And this is by themselves. When complemented with other fibrous vegetables or additional sauces, these could add more value to your meal.
Rosarita Refried Beans could definitely pass as vegan because of their vegetarian and dairy-free main ingredients. The catch lies in the uncertainty of this.
Various websites list this as a vegan product. There are also different vegan consumers of this product. It cannot be ruled out of the mix but is not the most guaranteed product.
It is a conditionally vegan product that requires your personal discretion and beliefs. With a lack of proper legislation and guidelines for companies to follow, it gets even harder to narrow down the search.
Vegan Certification Programs have fast-tracked the process and made it more accessible. Look out for these Vegan Certified symbols on your next grocery run. The hope for a better and more inclusive vegan lifestyle still lingers; don’t give up!