Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A personal favorite of mine would be a bowl of cereals with oat milk sprinkled with blueberries. With so many different brands of cereals, it’s not easy to know which ones are vegan or not. Today we’ll review Lucky Charms, to be more precise we will be answering the question; are Lucky Charms vegan?
Lucky Charms cereals are not vegan. They contain gelatin and artificial colors, these ingredients are not vegan. Honey can also be found in Lucky Charms Honey Clovers. The sugar could also be refined cane sugar, which has a high probability of been bleached with bone char from cows.
With so many questionable ingredients, we felt the need to research them all to give you all the information regarding Lucky Charms.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
What Are Lucky Charms?
Lucky charms are produced by General Mills.
It’s a breakfast cereal that is mixed with marshmallows.
At a start it was not sugar-coated. It did not get much attention so they added the sugar-coating and the success started to grow.
Not only do they do they sell cereals, but also have a Lucky Charms treat bar.
Up next we will take a look at the ingredients of all the Lucky Charms flavors I could find.
Lucky Charms Ingredients
The following ingredients can be found in all the flavors:
Sugar, corn syrup, modified corn starch, gelatin, corn starch, salt, dextrose, whole grain oats/or whole grain corn.
Flavors 1-6 have these ingredients aswell artificial colors.
Flavors 1-5 & 7 also have natural and artificial flavor, trisodium phosphate.
- Limited-Edition Original Lucky Charms (Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols).)
- Limited-Edition Chocolate Lucky Charms (Canola and/or sunflower oil, caramel color, cocoa processed with alkali, fructose.)
- Original Lucky Charms Cereal (Oat flour, vitamin E (mixed tocopherols).)
- Chocolate Lucky Charms Cereal (Corn meal, canola and/or rice bran oil, cocoa processed with alkali, fructose.)
- Lucky Charms Honey Clovers Cereal (Corn meal, rice flour, honey, refiner’s syrup, canola oil, tricalcium phosphate, caramel color.)
- Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes Cereal (Corn meal, refiner’s syrup, malt syrup, canola oil, baking soda, natural flavor. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols).)
- Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal (Sugar and/or golden sugar, high monounsaturated canola oil, tricalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, citric acid, malic acid, graham’s salt.)
Lucky Charms Treat Bars (Whole grain oats, sugar, oat flour, corn syrup, corn starch, salt, trisodium phosphate, natural and artificial flavor. Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), palm kernel oil, whey powder, soy lecithin, dextrose, gelatin, artificial colors, artificial flavor, rice flour, barley malt extract, canola oil, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable glycerin, maltodextrin, sorbitol, calcium carbonate.)
Non Vegan Ingredients
The ingredients you can find here might look vegan at a glance, but after research you will see it’s not vegan.
Nothing much to say about Gelatin. It’s derived from animals and it’s a protein.
Now this is a touchy topic for many and it’s for a good reason.
Artificial colors does not contain anything derived from animals something just as bad takes place when it comes to this ingredient and that is animal testing.
Some will say it’s vegan and some will say it’s not vegan.
The vegan diet is all about stopping animal slaughter and suffering.
It’s impossible for this ingredient to be vegan because animals are tortured and killed in the process of testing the safety of artificial colors.
There are other methods of testing such as computer simulations that can be used instead.
As long as animal testing is occuring, this ingredient will remain non-vegan.
Another ingredient that is 100% not vegan-friendly is honey.
We exploit the bees for the honey and give them sugar instead.
We essentially steal their food.
As we stated with earlier, a product does not need ingredients derived from animal to be non-vegan.
Palm oil falls under this category.
People are beeing exploited, heavy deforestation is taking place, which contributes to animals losing their homes. There are countless heartbreaking videos where orangutangs tries to stop the excavators.
Palm oil is widely used because it’s high production value per square meter.
Don’t worry though, not all hope is lost.
There is an organisation called Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil, also knows as RSPO.
As you can see, General Mills is a RSPO member.
So the palm oil in Lucky Charms is considered vegan-friendly.
Whey is protein derived from milk.
I’ts a by-product in the cheese production.
This is obviously not a vegan ingredient.
The reason we put this as a non-vegan ingredient is because this is one of the most common GMO crops and in order to get good yields a high amount of pesticide needed.
This pesticide destroys ecosystems.
I found a great study made on this topic, you can read it here.
We can’t make a review without some questionable ingredient right?
We added some ingredient that we see again and again in different products.
This is one of the most discussed ingredients when it comes to veganism.
The most common sugar in the candy and sweets industry is cane sugar.
Cane sugar is known for using bone char in the bleeching process and this has gotten real attention throughout the years.
For me personally I think that using bone char is wrong, because there are other methods.
I can’t find if the sugar is in fact cane sugar, so I must put this ingredient as questionable.
Problem with Dextrose is the same as the sugar. It might be used with cane sugar.
The problem with natural flavors is the fact that many different ingredients can be hidden here.
Since it’s not specified which natural flavors is added I must add this to questionable ingredient section aswell.
A very common ingredient used a lot of the food industry. It’s mostly made from corn which in itself is vegan.
The problem here is the fact that corn is another common GMO crop.
It’s not as destructive as GMO soy but I feelt like I needed to add it here to raise awarness.
I wouldn’t say that this ingredient would be a make it brake if to determine if a product is vegan or not.
Are Lucky Charms Vegetarian?
Sadly Lucky Charms cereals are not vegetarian.
All flavors contain gelatin.
Are Lucky Charms Gluten-Free?
These are some flavors that are gluten-free:
- Chocolate Lucky Charms Cereal
- Lucky Charms Honey Clovers Cereal
- Fruity Lucky Charms Cereal
- Lucky Charms Frosted Flakes Cereal
Are Lucky Charms GMO-Free?
I would say that there is a high chance that Lucky Charms may contain ingredients made from GMO crops.
I can’t find a non GMO label.
Are Lucky Charms Healthy?
Eating products that contain sugar should be done with caution and moderation.
Lucky Charms is not an exception.
There are so many studies showing that a high consumption of sugar might lead to heart disease and cancer.
Lucky Charms is a very popular breakfast cereal, but it’s far from beeing vegan.
There are so many non-vegan and questionable ingredients.
But more and more companies are making their products vegan-friendly.
We can hope that Lucky Charms might become vegan in the future.