Fig Newtons are some of the oldest snacks that I can think of. I ate them like they were going out of style when I was a child, and now that I am older, I don’t eat them at all. So maybe my premonition was true.
For those of you who may not know, Fig Newtons are popular pastry that has a chewy fig filling. They are very similar to a chewy cookie, and tastes similar to one. They are, however, in no way healthy.
So what about their vegan status? Are they vegan? Well, let’s check the ingredients and find out!
Many people are debating over whether or not sugar is vegan or not. That is a topic of discussion, for reasons which I will explain.
Most sugar is processed using a substance known as bone char. Bone char is literally the charred bones of animals. They are a byproduct a factory farming. While no animal is killed for their bones, bone char is a substance that is bought at a low price and is used specifically to give sugar its signature white color.
Many vegans try to avoid refined sugar for this very reason. Other vegans tend to believe that trying to avoid all refined sugar is too impractical, as added sugar is found in everything from vegan cookies to pasta sauce. Many vegans believe that since there is no bone char IN sugar, as well as the fact that there is no way to know for sure if a sugar brand uses bone char or not, that refined sugar is vegan.
There have been a ton of debate in the blogosphere a few years back over what constitutes “natural flavoring.” The truth is, there is no exact definition, other than the fact that it is derived from something that is edible. There is no evidence, however, that anything on the market today is made using anal secretions, like how some would state.
Since there is no way to know for sure what the natural flavorings really are, and the fact that so little is used in the whole product, it makes little sense to fret over them.
This is what makes Fig Newtons not vegan. Whey is a protein derived from cows milk. So it is definitely an animal product.