Guest Blogger: Rummaged musings.

10 Jan

Everyone, please meet Hannah, the author of Rummaged musings. Hannah is a senior in high school in Vermont. She is fairly new to the vegan and blogging world (vegan since mid-May and blogger since August) and still trying to figure it all out! On her blog, Rummaged musings., she talks about fashion (Hannah is planning on going to school for fashion design next year), of course veganism, and random things and happenings around her and in her life.

 

Is sugar vegan? That’s the big debate. For this post, I did some research online to try to get a clearer understanding.
I choose not to eat it (regular old white sugar) because most US sugar is bleached with bone char (cow/cattle bones). Ew! Well, more specifically, the char is put into filters that remove it’s natural brown color.
It also depends on your definition of a vegan diet. Technically speaking, the ingredients in refined (white) sugar are vegan. But the process of it sometimes involves bones. Now I know if you consider the process of everything, you can get into some knitty-gritty stuff and things can get really difficult. For example, transportation of products, sometimes machinery is used for both vegan and non-vegan products, etc. I just try to do the best I can; that’s all really one can do. Of course it’s everyone’s own personal choice what they consume. WDYT?
My family and friends think I’m crazy and don’t believe me about the whole bone char thing, but I’m standing my ground! I don’t like defending myself though because I always end up sounding stupid..
Anyway, as far as sugar replacements go, I like Sugar in the Raw (but not it’s price tag–it’s around $6 for a 2 lb box!). I’ve also tried Truvia a few years ago when it first came out, but didn’t like it’s after-taste. I don’t know if it’s changed now though, so maybe I’ll give it another go…?
As to actually avoiding sugar in processed foods, it’s actually fairly easy–I simply avoid processed foods! Haha, in all seriousness though, I do stay away from a lot of processed foods with added sugar because most don’t state the source of the sugar. Some rare ones do though–I’ve seen some labels say ‘made with beet sugar’ (oh, btw, beet sugar, well, 100% beet sugar, is okay!), which is always helpful!
I thought I’d put together a list of all vegan/non-vegan sugar brands, but a lot of the sites I went to were so contradicting, here’s just the basic sweeteners and ones I’m definitely (99.9%..you should read the labels when buying it) sure of:
Vegan: (American) 
  • 100% pure beet sugar
  • Certified USDA organic sugar
  • evaporated cane juice
  • agave nectar
  • corn syrup/high fructose corn syrup (although not very healthy)
  • rice syrup
  • molasses
  • real maple syrup
  • date sugar
  • fructose/dextrose/glucose
  • turbinado (like Sugar in the Raw)
  • succanat (be careful–sometimes it contains honey)
  • barley malt
  • demerara
  • muscovado
  • rapadura
  • stevia
  • Truvia
Non-vegan:
  • brown sugar (it’s actually regular old bleached sugar, dyed and flavored with molasses..I know, crazy!)
  • confectioners sugar (regular sugar mixed with cornstarch)
  • Domino Sugar
  • Savannah Foods
  • (C&H) California & Hawaiian Sugar Company (except for it’s ‘Washed Raw Sugar’)
  • and there’s probably a ton more..
I’ve never even heard of some of those! What about you?
Helpful tips:
  • Watch out for sugars that say they’re processed with ‘natural charcoal’–that’s just the phrase some companies use for bone char!
  • Companies using bone char in their white sugar also use it in their brown sugars
  • Sugar labeled ‘100% pure cane sugar’ was most likely processed with bone char
  • There isn’t a way of knowing if store-brand sugars are vegan or not since they get theirs from lots of different refineries
  • Be careful when cooking/baking with these substitutes, since they might be stronger/weaker (weaker? Is that the right term?) in sweetness than regular sugar. Look on the label to be sure to add the right amount.
*Here’s two great sites that explain all about the sugar debate:

Vegetarian Resource Group

Vegan 

 –Hannah
Image from: Wikimedia Commons
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