Becoming a vegan comes with life-affirming responsibilities and major lifestyle alterations. You cannot assume any food to be vegan just by the looks of it. Not even the fruit candies that taste exactly like fruit. The fruity liquid that gushes out of these bundles of joy does taste convincing, but…
Are Gushers vegan?
Yes, Fruit Gushers are vegan as they contain no ingredients sourced from animals. However, some controversial ingredients like palm oil and artificial colors can be found in Fruit Gushers’ composition.
As fellow vegans, we have thoroughly investigated every controversial aspect, and in today’s article, we will take an in-depth look at the questionable ingredients in Fruit Gushers, so that you can make an informed decision for your preferences. Let’s dive in!
Do Gushers have gelatin?
As per the information provided on General Mills’ official website, Gushers do not include gelatin in their ingredients.
Gelatin is a substance that may be concerning for vegans, as it is traditionally derived from boiling animal body parts like cows and pigs in water, resulting in a translucent, flavorless, and odorless material used as a filler in certain candies.
Gushers use a product called carrageenan which is a thickener obtained from seaweed. Carrageenan is responsible for giving Gushers their enjoyable soft texture, meeting the expectations of candy enthusiasts who prefer a delightful chewiness.
Do Gushers have dairy?
No, Gushers do not have dairy. They are made with fruit puree and sugar, and do not contain any animal ingredients.
However, Gushers may be associated with animal cruelty due to the palm oil and other ingredients used in their production.
Controversial ingredients in Gushers
While some may Gushers’ ingredients not be directly derived from animals, it’s important to remember that they can still be considered non-vegan.
Problematic and doubtful ingredients comprising Fruit Gushers include:
• carnauba wax,
• palm oil
• modified corn starch
• natural flavors
• artificial colors
• processed sugar
We’ve analyzed the source and potential consequences of incorporating each of these ingredients in your preferred food items. Let’s investigate!
1. Glycerine may not always be derived from plants
It is common for manufacturers to produce glycerin from animal sources instead of plants. Although a great deal of glycerin is indeed produced from plants, the possibility of it coming from an animal source doesn’t vanish. This is heightened by the fact that the makers of Gushers haven’t ever clearly specified whether the glycerine used in their product is vegan or not.
2. Carnauba wax is obtained from palm trees, so is palm oil
It is true that palms are just plants and palm oil is a plant based material in that sense. Carnauba wax obtained from the leaves of this plant can also be easily considered plant based. But this is not the complete picture.
Palm plantations need to be looked at from a wider perspective because the real picture is as devastating as animal slaughter. Thousands of acres of rainforests recede every year because they are eaten by the fast growing palm plantations. These capitalist plantation machineries and techniques have led to a large scale reduction in the lush green lungs of our planet Earth. Huge areas of forests are ruthlessly deforested for palm cultivation. This is not only bad for the planet’s air quality, quite a number of animal species lose their natural homes and food supply chains and are rendered homeless.
Orangutans are amongst the many animal species driven to the brink of extinction by the fast expanding capitalist forests that replace rainforests. There is no single aspect of the devastation caused by palm plantations. Underprivileged human populations are either driven out of their ancestral lands or employed as bonded laborer’s with little prospects of freedom and normal life.
Palm plantations are also known to release peat into the soil in which they are planted. Peat in turn leads to the release of large volumes of greenhouse gas methane from the soil. This, along with widespread deforestation is hugely responsible for the global warming crisis our planet is going through.
These ingredients are not acceptable to many vegans, which is , constantly raising the question of whether Gushers are vegan. Many others continue their consumption while avoiding meat, dairy, and eggs. It must be mentioned that the adverse effects of palm oil plantations on our planet have been drastic and it is important to urge manufacturers to shift to more sustainable ingredients.
3. Modified Corn Starch contains enzymes
It is not really known where these enzymes are obtained from. But modified corn starch used in Gushers does utilize enzymes to alter its viscosity.
Some producers obtain enzymes from bacterial cultures, which can be considered vegan, but concerns arise as these bacteria may be fed animal products during enzyme production. We are more concerned because obtaining such enzymes from animals may be more feasible and economical for capitalist manufacturers, potentially influencing their decisions.
The lack of transparency and potential for obtaining enzymes from animals raise uncertainties when considering whether Gushers are truly vegan-friendly.
The manufacturers of Gushers seldom mention the origins of such doubtful ingredients, leaving vegans like us to continuously research and, often, encounter terrifying outcomes when Googling for answers.
Regarding monoglycerides, it’s worth considering that they could be derived from plant sources as well. Dwelling too much on the potential animal sources of this small ingredient may lead us to avoid numerous food items that could otherwise be vegan. Therefore, we personally suggest not dwelling too heavily on monoglycerides. Embracing a little discrepancy is a natural part when it comes to determining if Gushers are vegan.
5. Natural flavors
For vegans, knowing which flavors are natural and which are not becomes essential when considering if Gushers are vegan. While producers are not obligated to stick strictly to expected ingredients in developing a product’s taste, they may sometimes use flavors derived from non-vegan sources, like fish, to enhance fruity products’ juiciness.
Vegans maintain a vigilant eye on ingredients that might sneak into their seemingly vegan foods. One such substance is castoreum, an animal-based natural flavor extracted from beavers, commonly employed to intensify strawberry and raspberry flavors. There is speculation that this flavor could be present in strawberry-flavored Gushers.
On the positive side, some natural flavors are indeed derived from plant-based sources. Nonetheless, getting overly worked up about these intricacies can be overwhelming when determining whether Gushers are vegan.
6. Artificial color
Artificial colors, commonly found in various Gushers varieties, raise ethical concerns for vegans as they are often considered unacceptable. These colors, including Blue 1, Red 50, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are problematic because they undergo animal testing to ensure their safety for human use.
While artificial colors themselves may not be directly derived from animals, their testing process involves significant animal cruelty. Innocent creatures like rabbits, monkeys, rats, and even dogs are subjected to toxic doses of these colors to assess their safety for human consumption. Tragically, many of these animals die as a result of such testing, and those that survive often face severe complications and are ultimately euthanized.
Such blatant animal cruelty is the reason some vegans stay away from products that use artificial colors. Gushers may not be considered vegan if you choose to avoid such colorants in your diet.
7. Processed Sugar
Many vegans choose to avoid processed cane sugar in their diet due to ethical concerns surrounding its production. In various sugar factories across America, bone char is used to bleach and whiten sugar. Bone char is obtained by burning cattle bones at high temperatures until they transform into a carbon residue with strong absorptive properties.
Although not all factories use bone char, and its residues are not present in the final refined sugar, some vegans still consider avoiding processed sugar as an ethical responsibility. The uncertainty about the sourcing of sugar remains a significant factor in their decision.
However, it’s essential to note that not all sugar is produced using animal-based products. Some factories utilize granular activated carbon for sugar bleaching, while others produce organic sugar from sources like beetroot and coconut.
Completely avoiding sugar might be viewed as an extreme decision for some individuals, but it reflects the ethical considerations and commitment of certain vegans. When determining if Gushers are vegan, being mindful of the source of sugar used in their production can be an essential aspect to consider.
So are Gushers vegan afterall?
Yes, Fruit Gushers are vegan! They do not contain any animal-derived ingredients, making them a suitable option for individuals following a vegan diet.
Upon our exploration, we found it reassuring that they do not contain gelatin, which is a common concern for vegans. However, certain ingredients, such as glycerine, artificial sugar, monoglycerides, and modified corn starch, do raise questions about their vegan origin, as we lack concrete information on their sourcing.
Regarding the speculation surrounding castoreum as a natural flavor in Gushers, we are unable to confirm its presence definitively. This uncertainty might leave some of us contemplating whether to include Gushers in our vegan snack options.
For those of us who are environmentally conscious, the issue of palm oil and its potential contributions to deforestation can be a significant factor to consider when deciding whether or not to consume Gushers or any other products containing palm oil.
We hope that our article has assisted you in making an educated decision aligned with vegan principles!