Sugar is a key component that can be found in almost every pantry and on all kitchen counters across the globe – from sweetening tea and coffee to flavouring baked delicacies. As the vegan lifestyle continues to gain momentum, many people and most of all, vegans are questioning, the components used in their meals. And one common ingredient that has come under the hot radar of all the hawk-eyed vegans is sugar. Vegans as we know it, avoid the consumption of animal products in their diet. While sugar is popularly regarded as a plant-based ingredient, will be wise to consider it vegan-friendly? It may seem like a no-brainer query, but the answer is not so breezy. While sugar itself originates from plants, the polishing process may include the involvement of animal products. Also, some sugar companies use animal bone char as a filtering medium. So, the ongoing debate on whether sugar is vegan or not certainly depends on its source and the production process. So, to all the vegan veterans, vegan rookies, conscious-eaters or just individuals, simply seeking out a healthier diet lifestyle, read on to know more about sugar and all its types.
There are two main types of sugar: organic sugar and refined sugar. Organic sugar is made from sugar cane or sugar beets that have been grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. The sugar is extracted from the plants and then it is cleaned and dried. This process does not involve the use of animal bone char, making organic sugar vegan-friendly.
The usual, standard sugar is made from sugar cane or sugar beets that have been heavily processed to remove impurities. The refining method generally involves using animal bones char or the application of carbon to remove the impurities. As a result, our beloved, dessert-friendly sugar may not be so vegan-friendly. If you’re unsure about the source of your sugar, it’s best to contact the manufacturer and ask about their refining process.
OTHER VEGAN-FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVES
In addition to organic and refined sugar, there are several other types of sugar that you may come across:
THE COCONUT AND PALM SAVIOURS!
If you wish to indulge in endless delicious bites of your favourite chocolate brownies how about opting for palm sugar or coconut sugar ones?! Palm sugar is made from the trunk of the palm trees, while Coconut sugar is prepared from the flower sap of the coconut trees. Both are organic, flavoursome, vegan-friendly and surely a sweet alternative to refined sugar.
MAPLE, FOR THE WIN!
It’s safe to assume that Canada is not the only place that fawns over this sweet wonder, as people all over the world—especially vegans, include maple syrup in all their sugary indulgences. Maple syrup is made by boiling the sap of maple trees and is vegan-friendly. So, to all the vegan and conscious-eating folks out there, feel free to go for an extra drizzle on those pancake towers of yours!
Overall, the answer to the question “Is sugar vegan-friendly?” depends on the source and refining process of the sugar. While some vegans may refrain from consuming refined sugar altogether, others may still opt for sugar that has been processed using other vegan-friendly options. Eventually, it’s up to each individual to decide what matches with their personal ethics and dietary choices. What can be perceived as, being vegan is not about holding back on your food choices, but about doing your utmost, to reduce the harm indicted on animals and the environment as a whole along with keeping tabs on the wellbeing of your body.
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