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Tootsie Pops have been in my life since I started eating candy. It’s a candy for all seasons and can be found in a lot of candy mixes on holidays such as halloween. I’ve always enjoyed this candy and I don’t remember why I stopped eating it. Now that I have kids, I saw them at the store and I wondered; are Tootsie Pops vegan?
The short answer is no. Tootsie Pops contain non-vegan ingredients such as condensed skim milk, whey and palm oil. Sugar, soy, artificial colors and natural flavors are some questionable ingredients that can be non-vegan as well.
In this article we will take a deep dive into all non-vegan and questionable ingredients in Tootsie Pops.
Tootsie Pops Ingredients
- Corn Syrup
- Palm Oil
- Citric Acid (May Contain Malic Acid)
- Condensed Skim Milk
- Artificial And Natural Flavors
- Soy Lecithin
- Artificial Colors (Including FD&C Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1)
- Strawberry Powder
I highlighted ingredients that we need to take a look at.
Up next are the non-vegan ingredients.
First up we have palm oil that has been a controversial ingredient for some time now.
It is not derived from animals, but why is this ingredient under non-vegan ingredients?
To make a long story short, it’s because of the production process.
It has a massive negative effect on the environment and wildlife.
The deforestation cause by new palm oil plantations are destroying the homes of many animals such as rhinos and orangutans just to name a few.
There are heartbreaking videos on youtube where orangutans try and defend their home from bulldozers.
Beeing a vegan is not only about if the food contain animal derived ingredients, but also about preserving the animals and their homes.
The palm oil industry goes against veganism.
However there is a way to make palm oil vegan-friendly.
It’s called RSPO Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
It’s a not for profit organisation that helps palm oil companies to produce sustainable palm oil to minimize the negative effect on the environment.
I did a search and I could not find Tootsie Roll Company as a member.
This means that the palm oil in Tootsie Pops is not vegan-friendly.
Condensed Skim Milk & Whey
Nothing much to say.
These ingredients comes from cow’s milk.
This makes this ingredient non-vegan.
Another controversial ingredient and I will explain why artificial colors are placed under questionable ingredients.
This is the main reason why artificial colors can be considered non-vegan, however I have not found any modern research that includes animal testing.
This is a gray area and it’s up to you how strict of a vegan you want to be.
We have come a long way when it comes to testing food or ingredients and there are other method can be used now such as computer simulation to just mention one.
As long as animals are used to test this ingredient it will remain non-vegan.
There is something else that I have to add here as well and that is that artificial can do to your health.
There are research showing that artificial colors that can cause hypersensitivity reactions and migraine.
So from a health perspective, artificial colors should be avoided.
The most common sugar in the candy industry in refined cane sugar.
Why would this be a problem?
Well, it’s because of the bleaching process.
A very popular way to bleach cane sugar is to use bone char from dead cows.
I don’t think there is any residue left in the sugar after this process, but since it’s dead animals bones in the production process, I decided to list this under questionable ingredients.
If you find candy with beet sugar, then you are safe because beet sugar is vegan.
Corn is the most common GMO crop and on their website they state they use bioengineered food ingredient from the US.
The problem with this is the negative environmental impact that this causes.
Ecosystems get damaged because of the high usage of pesticide that is needed.
Artificial And Natural Flavors
I recently came a cross an article on national geographic that said vanilla flavors could contain goo from a beaver butt.
Since natural flavors in an umbrella term. Companies can hide any “flavor” ingredient here and it could be derived from animals, unless the product has a vegan label from a trusted organisation.
That’s not the case here since Tootsie Pops are not vegan.
This is another common GMO crop and it’s possible that this ingredient is made from GMO crops as well.
Soy is even worse than corn because it uses so much more pesticide than corn which can damage ecosystems even more.
For soy to be more friendly to the environment it needs to be grown in a organic farm.
You can just search on my google on this topic if you are interested.
Vegan Alternative To Tootsie Pops
I actually found an amazing vegan alternative to Tootsie Pops and they are called YumEarth.
They make fantastic vegan-friendly candy!
You can read more about their vegan-friendly Pops here.
Are Product Vegetarian?
Tootsie Pops are vegetarian. There are no ingredients derived from meat, but there are some questionable ingredients that you might want to take into consideration. The main one is palm oil. The impact is massive on our planet and the palm oil in Tootsie Pops is not RSPO certified.
Are Product Gluten-Free?
Tootsie Pops are gluten-free. They confirm this in their ingredient section of Tootsie Pops.
Are Tootsie Pops Dairy-Free?
Tootsie Pops are not dairy-free. They contain condensed skimmed milk and whey which comes from cow’s milk.
Are Tootsie Pops Sugar-Free?
Tootsie Pops are not Sugar-Free. It’s listed under the ingredients. It’s also a high probability of refined cane sugar, which might have been bleached with bone char.
It’s too bad Tootsie Pops are not vegan because of the dairy and palm oil.
I have so many childhood memories of Tootsie Pops.
It’s great that I found YumEarth.
Now I have a vegan alternative to my kids.
I hope you found my article useful.