Obvious and Not-So-Obvious Vegan Foods


Breaking news: Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup is vegan. How is this possible? I have spent the last two years avoiding this product and any similar product because I assumed they would contain dairy. Rather than being excited that I can eat this product, I am a little disappointed that I “gave up” eating something delicious that I didn’t need to give up. Granted, should I have spent the last two years pouring Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup down my throat every night? Probably not healthy. It’s basically just chocolate-flavored high fructose corn syrup. Yum.

This discovery got me thinking. How many other products have I been avoiding that are actually vegan? I Googled “vegan Hershey’s chocolate syrup” and Peta’s website popped up with an entire list of “Accidentally Vegan” grocery store products. I already knew that Oreo’s are vegan but a few more items surprised me…

  • Reese’s Puffs Cereal
  • Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Swedish Fish
  • Teddy Grahams (both chocolate and cinnamon)
  • Little Debbie Cake Donuts
  • Jell-O Instant Pudding (chocolate, banana creme, lemon and vanilla)

Do I plan on eating any of the above items… ever? No. Okay, fine, I totally intend on eating Sour Patch Kids but we’ll keep that between us. Regardless, I’ve learned it never hurts to read ingredient lists even when I’m positive that a chocolate bar contains dairy. For example, I love Chocolove Raspberries in Dark Chocolate Bars and I literally re-read the ingredient list every time I purchase one. I swear there has to be dairy somewhere in the list but the dark chocolate bars are magically vegan.

I supposed it’s pretty shocking that something as delicious as ice cream can be vegan. I would double-check the ingredient list on vegan ice cream if they didn’t put “VEGAN,” “ALMOND MILK,” “DAIRY FREE,” and “HEY TREE HUGGER, COME EAT THIS” all over the container. So from now on, I’m keeping my eye out for more products that are “Accidentally Vegan” because you never know what you could be missing out on. I normally stick almost exclusively to the tried-and-true produce section but maybe I’ll venture out into the rest of the grocery store one of these days. Maybe.


19 thoughts on “Obvious and Not-So-Obvious Vegan Foods

  1. It’s a good thing to do – as we unfortunately never know when a company will change their formulation. I am also thankful that being vegan – in addition to helping the animals, my health and the environment – is another layer of willpower. Veganism will always win out even my willpower goes… otherwise I’d be in big trouble, as my emotional eating self might get the best of my otherwise sane self. LOL . And, sadly, Nutter Butters are vegan. But hey, peanut butter is protein… 🙂

    • Good point – a company and always make a change without an announcement. Yes I would definitely eat a lot more “crap” if it wasn’t for veganism but I still eat vegan junk food sometimes any way! Thanks for visiting Kelli!

  2. Pingback: Questions on Vegan Recipes For Kids Your Questions About Vegan | Questions on Vegan Recipes For Kids

  3. Vanessa, I would not trust PETA’s list of foods. Oreos may or may not be vegan, last I heard. The problem is that PETA considers foods that are 99% vegan to be vegan. Some companies use sugar filtered with bone char. Nabisco (the owners of Oreo) source some sugar that does contain bone char and some sugar that does not. There’s no way to tell when you’re buying a package of Oreos.

    So if you’re interested in avoiding products that make animal use profitable, I would avoid products like Oreos and check with companies to see if they do or do not use bone char in their sugars.

  4. I’ve been vegan for 2 years and have learned that when reading ingredient labels, to check the vitamin/mineral list…One of the non vegan ingredients that I continue to see is vitamin D3 aka cholecalciferol. I thought I was safe buying reeses puffs yesterday until I brought it home and was reading it completely and saw it contained vitamin D3 at the very bottom of the list, so I gave it to a nonvegan family member…I was bummed out =/

    • I didn’t realize that either! Another one of those things that is not clearly made with animal by products. It can definitely be tricky to figure those things out. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. BS I called Oreo and those cookies are NOT VEGAN no this and you proble should just call manufacturers cause these people are helping get you poisened. enjoy your evening

  6. :/ Eh. I wouldn’t always listen to PETA.

    The sugar, mono-diglycerides, and polysorbate 60 might not be vegan. Who knows unless someone actually called the company and asked?

  7. Oreo’s actually aren’t vegan and it made me extremely upset. The sugar that’s in them sometimes has traces of animal bone marrow in it, so you never know if you’re really safe.

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