Is Sugar Vegan?

From by Nedelle Torrisi
Is Sugar Vegan?

Is Sugar Vegan?

Have questions about sugar? We’ve got answers.

is sugar vegan

What is bone char?

Bone char—often referred to as natural carbon—is widely used by the sugar industry as a decolorizing filter, which allows the sugar cane to achieve a white color. Bone char is made from the bones of cattle who were slaughtered in foreign countries and sold to traders in other foreign countries, who then sell the bones back to the U.S. sugar industry. Typically, sugar is made from sugarcane, sugar beets, or coconuts. Beet and coconut sugar are never processed with bone char.

Is brown sugar safe?

Brown sugar is created by adding molasses to refined sugar, so companies that use bone char in white sugar will also use it to make brown sugar. Confectioner’s sugar—refined sugar mixed with cornstarch—made by these companies also involves the use of bone char. Fructose may, but does not typically, involve a bone-char filter.

If a sugar is labeled organic, does that mean it’s vegan?

Yes! Certified U.S. Department of Agriculture organic sugar cannot be filtered through bone char. If the sugar you want to buy isn’t organic, check to see if it says “unrefined” or if it’s made from beets—or simply support one of the bone-free sugar companies below.


The following companies do not use bone-char filters:

Here are some other delicious vegan sweeteners:

@wholefoodsmarket thank you for supporting @beefreehonee in most of your stores! #vegan #womenownedbusiness #kidfriendly #madeinusa

A photo posted by BeeFreeHonee (@beefreehonee) on Sep 26, 2014 at 8:29am PDT

  • Agave
  • Bee Free Honee
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Date Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Stevia (good for diabetics, as it has a zero glycemic index)
  • Yacon Root Syrup

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