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Today we are going to talk about cereals, more specifically a very popular brand called Cheerios. Cereals are so easy when it comes to a breakfast. Pour it into a bowl with some berries and maybe a banana and you will stay full until lunch. My kids wanted me to buy come Cheerios and I told them I had to check the ingredients first. It was hard determine on the spot, so I wanted to make to this article to answer the question, are Cheerios Vegan?
Cheerios are probably not vegan. They contain so many ingredients that can be derived from animal sources such as Vitamin A, B2, B6, B12 & D3. Some of the flavors are certainly not vegan and these are Cheerios Oat Crunch, Honey Nut Cheerios, Cheerios Oat Crunch, Oats ‘N Honey, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch and Honey Nut Cheerios Treats Bars.
When it comes to Cheerios you might think that they are vegan at a first glance, because it does not contain any animal derived ingredients according to the label. However the added vitamins tells a very different story. I made a table below to show all flavors of Cheerios that I could find together with its vegan status.
|Original Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Maple Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Cheerios Oat Crunch||No, it contains Honey.|
|Blueberry Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Honey Nut Cheerios||No, it contains Honey.|
|Multi Grain Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Apple Cinnamon Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Chocolate Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Fruity Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Frosted Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Cheerios Oat Crunch Almond||Probably not.|
|Cheerios Oat Crunch, Oats ‘N Honey||No, it contains Honey.|
|Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios||No, it contains Monoglycerides.|
|Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Cinnamon Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch||No, it contains Honey.|
|Honey Nut Cheerios Treats Bars||No, it contains Honey, Gelatin, Milk and Whey.|
|Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries||Probably not.|
|Pumpkin Spice Cheerios||Probably not.|
|Very Berry Cheerios||Probably not.|
There are a lot of ingredients throughout all the Flavors of Cheerios.
As usual I’ve listed all ingredients I could find and highlighted the ones that we need to take a deeper look at.
- Annatto Extract Color
- Apple Puree Concentrate
- Baking Soda
- Barley Malt Extract
- Blueberry Powder
- Blueberry Puree Concentrate
- Brown Sugar Syrup
- Calcium Carbonate
- Calcium Pantothenate
- Cane Sugar
- Canola Oil
- Caramel Color
- Citric Acid
- Cocoa Processed With Alkali
- Corn Starch
- Corn Syrup
- Cranberry Powder
- Dried Strawberries
- Folic Acid
- Fruit Juice
- Iron and Zinc
- Maple Syrup
- Modified Corn Starch
- Natural Almond Flavor
- Natural Flavor
- Oat Bran
- Palm Oil
- Palm Kernel Oil
- Peanut Butter
- peanut oil
- Pear Puree Concentrate
- Potassium Phosphate
- Raspberry Powder
- Refiner’s Syrup
- Rice Bran Oil
- Rice Flour
- Sodium Citrate
- Soy Lecithin
- Strawberry Powder
- Tapioca Syrup
- Tripotassium Phosphate
- Trisodium Phosphate
- Unsweetened Chocolate
- Vegetable Juice
- Vitamin A (palmitate)
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride)
- Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate)
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin E
- Wheat Flour
- Whey Powder
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Whole Grain Corn
- Whole Grain Millet
- Whole Grain Oats
- Whole Grain Rice
- Whole Grain Sorghum
- Whole Grain Wheat
- Whole Wheat Graham Flour
- Zinc and Iron (Mineral Nutrients)
Gelatin is made from dead animals and is a non-vegan ingredient.
This ingredient has been up to debate. Most vegans stay clear from honey, but some still consume it.
Bees are insects and they animals too.
So in this case they bees are exploited for their honey and this does not align well with veganism.
Honey is not vegan.
Cow’s milk is obviously not vegan.
The milk is packed with hormones to make a calf grown into a big cow.
Monoglycerides are most often made from ingredient derived from animals.
There are exceptions where it can be derived from a plant-based source.
The only way to be sure is to contact the company and if they can’t answer you need to contact their supplier.
Vitamin A, B2, B6, B12 & D3
These vitamins are what makes Cheerios most certainly not vegan.
They are very common vitamins that are derived from animals unless stated otherwise.
B12 is an example of a vitamin that most people get through eating meat, because the animal can absorb B12 from the plants they eat.
For a vegans B12 supplement is important.
D3 also a very common vitamin derived from animals.
The source of all these vitamins are nowhere to be found so can assume they are not vegan-friendly.
A lot of vegans tends to stay away from almonds.
California produces the most almonds in the worlds.
The trees must be pollinated by bees.
Locally there aren’t close to the amount of bees needed to do this.
So what happens is that bees are shipped from all over the country and released to pollinate all almonds trees.
And then they are shipped back.
A lot of bees dies in this process and because of this exploation, vegans try to avoid almonds.
Now this is a ingredient that I know too well at this point.
It’s almost in every product you can find, but it mostly goes under the ingredient “sugar”.
In it’s raw form it’s perfectly vegan with nothing derived from animals.
So what’s the problem in cane sugar?
Well it’s when it becomes refined.
A common practice is to use bone char from dead cows in the bleaching process, to make cane sugar fit into sugary products easier.
There is no way to know if this cane sugar in Cheerios has not been refined this way.
Highly questionable ingredient.
Iron & Zinc
Nothing much to say here. Commonly derived from animals, but can be derived from plant-based source as well.
Ever read how vanilla flavor can be produced?
Let me give you a hint.
Butt goo from a beaver!
That is just one of many odd things companies can use to create flavors for their products.
A lot of vegan and non-vegan ingredients can be found here and there is no way knowing
This is a B-vitamin and can be derived from animals.
This is a common GMO crop.
Takes massive amount of herbicide for this crop to give good yields.
That has a very negative impact on the environment and potentially destroys a lot of ecosystems around the farm.
Palm Oil & Palm Kernel Oil
This ingredient has gotten a lot of attention in the past couple of years and there is a reason for that.
A lot of forest is getting cut down to make place for these palm oil farms and as a result of that important habitats are getting destroyed.
Orangutans are suffering severely from this, but also Rhinos and other animals.
Most vegans stay clear from palm oil, however there is a way to make palm oil more sustainable and it’s called RSPO.
It’s a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on helping companies produce sustainable palm oil and helping other companies that wants to purchase sustainable palm oil.
Generell Mills are producing Cheerios and they are a RSPO member.
This make the palm oil in Cheerios indeed vegan-friendly.
Vegan Alternative To Cheerios
I scoured the web and I found a great Vegan alternative to Cheerios.
It’s called Kashi GO Peanut Butter Crunch.
The product is non-GMO certified, which always is a big plus.
Are Cheerios Vegetarian?
Cheerios are most likely vegetarian either. So many ingredients found in Cheerios can be derived from animals, which makes it hard to determine if Cheerios are vegetarian as well.
Are Cheerios Gluten-Free?
Yes all Cheerios are gluten-free. You can read more about it on their website.
Are Cheerios Dairy-Free?
All Cheerios cereals are dairy-free. Dairy can be found in the Honey Nut Cheerios Treats Bars.
Calling Cheerios vegan is not true.
There could be a small chance that these all these ingredients that could be derived from animals, actually are derived from plants.
But I think that they would let us know if Cheerios were vegan-friendly.
Luckily we found a vegan alternative that might suit your taste buds.