Going vegan can be one of the best decisions of your life, and your body will thank you, but there may be some confusion about what you can and cannot eat.
For instance, many people as ‘Are Oreos Vegan’, which is something we aim to answer today – and something those sweet tooths out there will appreciate.
Oreos are creamy and delicious, and above all else, they are widely available so if they are vegan, why would you not want to grab a packet or two, but there is something you should know about the famous cookie.
While there are a host of Oreo variations out there, as well as many desserts that have emerged from the cookie, such as the Oreo cheesecake, Oreo milkshake, or Oreo McFlurry, we are going to get to the bottom of whether the classic Oreo cookie is vegan or not – and the answer will shock you.
Now, with that in mind, if you are wondering whether these yummy treats are healthy, what they’re made up of, and if they should be considered as part of a vegan lifestyle, then stay tuned, for some juicy details, some shocking facts and the answer to our question are Oreos vegan?
What is an Oreo? For those who don’t know
If you are not familiar with what an Oreo is, then let us give you the inside scoop – although most cookie lovers out there will already know just how much of an impression these dark treats have had on the world.
Oreos can be recognized rather easily all over the world, merely by their image, which consists of two wafer sides and a creamy filling, much like a sandwich cookie.
Oreos are so popular as a snack and as a treat, that they can be found across the globe under a variety of other names, and many supermarkets have their version of the famous Oreo.
It is such a common on-the-go food, that you will almost always find snack packets of these pieces of deliciousness, at bus stations, train stations, and street vendors, which has most likely added to its popularity.
The Oreo may seem like a ‘modern’ cookie, but it dates back to 1912 and to this day it is sold in over 100 countries, so you will never be too far from an Oreo treat. It may seem wild to think that there are people out there who may not know what an Oreo is, given that it is the best-selling cookie in the United States, and since 2014, it is the best-selling cooking in the world – now that’s an achievement!
Although the origin of the name is unknown, with many theories out there claiming to know what Oreo means, this is still a name that is widely known, so much so that the block on which the famous cookie was first produced in Chelsea, New York is known as Oreo Way. But, are Oreos vegan?
We will get down to that a little further on, but first, let's break down the ingredients of this fine snack.
How healthy are Oreos? The ins and outs of Oreos nutritional value
Oreos are not the healthiest food in the world, but in saying that, they are not the unhealthiest – everything in moderation, right?
So, if you are wondering just how healthy Oreos are, then let us explain.
One six-pack of classic Oreos contains 270 calories, which means that each cookie is 45 calories, and the cookie is mostly made up of carbohydrates and fats, with very little protein.
Given that there are a host of Oreo flavors these days, these numbers will vary depending on which one you’ve chosen.
Here are a few things to know about how healthy Oreos are:
- Oreos have no nutritional benefit, yes you heard that right – zero. The cookies are predominantly fat, sugar, and calories, with little protein and little or no vitamins.
- The creamy filling has the most sugar, while the cookies are just so–so.
- Excessive consumption can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and tooth decay.
- Due to their high fat and sugar, this tasty treat can quickly become addictive.
What are Oreos made from? What goes into making this famous cookie
The classic Oreo has not changed much over the years, so what you are tasting is a concoction that was established well over one hundred years ago.
Eleven ingredients go into creating an Oreo cookie, and while this is based purely on the original cookie, it is worth knowing that the ingredients may vary between each type, and here they are.
- Hugh Fructose Corn Syrup -
- Unbleached enriched flour
- High oleic canola oil or palm oil
- Cocoa (treated with alkali)
- Baking soda or mono calcium phosphate
- Corn starch
- Soy lecithin
So, while their eleven ingredients, appear to not be derivatives or byproducts of animals, it is not always as clear as day, which is why it is always important to look a little deeper if you are asking yourself are Oreos vegan?
Oreos are commonly promoted as being fully vegan, and make for a great on-the-go snack for those leading a vegan diet, unlike many other questionable cookies, and this has even been confirmed by PETA themselves, but are Oreos vegan?
The answer is No, but let us explain why.
Is Oreos Vegan? The shocking answer to the age-old question
The answer, by merely looking at the ingredients is yes, but if we dig deeper, we will find out that while the ingredients in Oreo cookies appear to be vegan, Oreos themselves claim that there could be milk traces in their product.
Not just this, but if we break down the ingredients a little further, we can find out more information, and do we not wonder why Oreos does not market themselves as a vegan? Surely this would be a huge selling point for them?
While many processed sugars use bone char as a filter, to achieve the colors they want others to use decolorizing filters to get the same effect, making it very hard to know which products are made in a vegan-friendly method, and which are not.
While Palm oil itself is plant-based, this controversial ingredient has been at the forefront of environmental issues such as deforestation, which in turn is an added animal rights issue.
While sourcing palm oil, especially in areas such as Indonesia, animals are burned alive during the process of clearing the land, or even killed by workers, if they return to the area.
Not only is the process of sourcing palm oil unethical on many levels, but there are human rights issues on top of this, and although there have been ‘efforts’ by Oreo's parent company, to sustainably source their palm oil, this appears to be a gimmick for their public image, and not much change has come about, unfortunately. See what they have to say here.
Colors: As we all know, the classic Oreo cookies have no color, but as there are many variations of Oreo out there now, we need to look at the bigger picture when we ask ourselves are Oreos vegan?
Some colors which are used in food, are tested on animals, and while the colors themselves are not animal-derived, we have to look at the fact that animals could have been harmed in the process.
Milk traces: Oreo claims that there could be milk traces in their products, and they state that they cannot guarantee there are no allergens in the cookies, which means that it is not easy to know if you have eaten a cookie with traces of milk or not. Better safe than sorry?
So, what else should I know? But wait, there's more
As we can see from Oreos themselves, the cookies are not vegan, but on top of this, it is worth noting that they are also not gluten-free, halal, or kosher, as well as contain soy.
Asking ourselves if are Oreos vegan, as well as asking ourselves about other products we may want to consume on a vegan diet, helps us understand exactly where our food is coming from, and not to fully trust marketing strategies.
The best way to make sure that Oreos are fully vegan is to make your version of them at home, which is common among those leading a vegan and healthy lifestyle.
While organizations such as PETA have stated on their website that Oreos are vegan, it confirms to us that it is imperative to do our research rather than relying on such websites.
If we take a look at the Oreo website, it clearly states that they are not, which answers our question immediately.
So, with that being said, despite what we might have heard, Oreos are not fully vegan, so next time you are looking for a quick snack for on the go or a vegan sweet treat, opt for something more natural, healthier, and above all else – something you can be fully sure is vegan friendly.