Can Vegans Eat Chocolate?
Either you’re one of the approximately half a million vegans yourself, or you’re simply curious about the fastest growing lifestyle movement in the UK, and whether vegans can indulge in the wonders of delicious chocolate like non-vegans can. We’re here to explain everything you need to know about the relationship between veganism and chocolate, and maybe even tempt you with some chocolatey goodness along the way.
According to The Vegan Society, "veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose." This means that when it comes to food, a vegan lifestyle avoids all animal products, such as meat, dairy, eggs, milk and honey.
Luckily for vegans, chocolate comes from cacao beans, which grow on cacao trees. These beans are fermented, dried, processed, and then added as a main ingredient into all different kinds of chocolate. As cacao beans are plant-based, this deems them fine for vegans to enjoy.
Of course, most milk and white chocolate varieties are no-gos for vegans because of the dairy milk content, but dark chocolate products like Eat Your Hat Organic 70% Dark Chocolate, many of the Divine Easter Eggs and Traidcraft Organic 70% Dark Chocolate are fine to consume. However, what if we told you that you could even get double chocolate cookies which were vegan, would you believe us? ‘What about the butter!?’, we hear you cry. Well, our Traidcraft Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies are made with delicious dark chocolate chips, therefore removing any milk element, and are lovingly baked using cocoa butter, making them perfectly vegan-friendly. With a sprinkle of Fairtrade sugar and a splash of pioneering organic fair trade palm oil from Ghana, these cookies are as ethical as they are tasty and we couldn’t recommend them enough, whether you’re vegan or not!
The best way to ensure that the chocolate you’re buying is vegan is to have a quick look over the ingredients and the allergen information. Despite having the word butter in it, cocoa butter is 100% vegan, but ingredients like casein and whey are milk derived, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for them when selecting products. If you’re unsure, keep an eye out for the vegan trademark which is used to help identify that the product is vegan. The eagle eyed of you may notice that on some items which claim to be vegan, the allergens section may say things like ‘may contain traces of milk’, for example. Although this seems contradictory, this doesn’t mean that your items actually contain milk, but in fact that the products may have been produced in a factory that produces milk alongside your vegan items.
So, to answer the question on everyone’s lips, yes, our vegan friends can indulge in many different varieties of chocolate and enjoy them as much as non-vegans can. In fact, catering to the huge and ever-growing market, more and more vegan-friendly chocolate products are springing up as we speak. Keep an eye on our ever-expanding vegan chocolate range and see for yourselves.