Apparently September 27th was Hug a Vegetarian Day! Why didn’t anyone tell me? I found out by chance when perusing someone’s blog. I also found out that commercial sugar isn’t vegetarian either! Why didn’t someone tell me? I found out while attending a vegan cake demo by the Cupcake lady at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival.
When prepared for consumption and sale, some common sweeteners are exposed to animal products. Bone char, incinerated cow bones, are used in the processing of cane sugar. It acts as a filter and whitener. Animal fat, lard, has been used in maple syrup to reduce naturally occurring foam. And by nature of the fact that bees produce it, honey is not vegan either.
So which common sweeteners are vegan-friendly? Currently the list includes:
- brown rice syrup
- date syrup
- sweet molasses
- coconut sugar
Certain brands of maple syrup will carry a kosher label (usually the word pareve
) indicating that lard, at least from a pig, wasn’t used in the processing.