There’s a cute little meme circulating around on various vegan Facebook pages. It shows a cartoon character, happily stuffing his face with Oreos. The caption reads, “You, when you found out that Oreos were vegan.” So are Oreos actually vegan? Technically, the answer is yes. However, if you delve a little deeper, which vegans generally do, you might find there is no easy answer.
Palm oil is a debatable vegan product. That is, the ingredient itself is vegan. However, the methods used to obtain it are questionable. In some regions, native species, such as orangutans are forcibly removed from their habitats so that palm oil may be harvested or palm trees grown for their oil. This is not a happy circumstance for these animals as they often die needlessly. However, there are also palm oil producers who are able to grow and harvest their product without harming the animals.
High fructose corn syrup
Is this stuff in everything? It seems to be. The subject of the health impact of high fructose corn syrup is certainly a hot topic. I’m not a big fan of the stuff, personally. However, be it healthy or not, it is vegan. That is, unless you consider the fact that it is an indirect product of the highly subsidized corn industry, which provides feed for the meat and dairy industry, since corn in this country is primarily grown for animal feed.
In fact, According to Cornell University,
“The U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat.”
Oreos are definitely a processed food. I’m pretty sure there will be no argument there. And we all know by now that processed foods are a bad thing overall. It’s certainly been said and publicized enough. Unlike most traditional vegan foods, Oreos are about as far from close to nature as you can get. And, since a large consideration of going vegan is to get healthy, maybe they shouldn’t be on your list of daily foods.
Ok, well, here we go again. Oreos can definitely be classified as a junk food. They’re traditionally made cookies, for heaven’s sake. Cookies are not exactly known for their health benefits unless they are made very carefully and purposefully. Now we come back to that high fructose corn syrup. Folks, it’s not just unhealthy. It’s full of GMO’s. Since it comes from commercially produced corn, it’s likely got pesticides right in it’s DNA structure. Not only that, consuming it can alter our DNA. Now, that’s a scary thing.
Oreos do have a few things going for them. Unbleached flour is used in their production. They contain 35 mg. of potassium per serving. They contain no trans-fat at all. So that’s a plus. They are, as the package says, (OMG) cholesterol free. So, yay for those statistics. And, of course, they are, as I said, technically vegan. Therefore, if you’re a vegan who’s OK with having an occasional, not so incredibly healthy, yet questionably humane snack, Oreos are one option. Although, for most of us, that GMO thing and the orangutans are a huge game changer.
More from Jaipi:
Sweet Stuffed Pepper Fillings for Vegans and Their Guests
Vegan Tips for Attending Omnivore Barbecues
Vegan Cheese Substitutes – Sweet Salvation or Unnecessary Purchase?