Are Starbursts Vegan?
Starburst is a flavor filled fruity candy that is adored by many. They are made by the Wrigley company, the same people who make Skittles. However, you may be wonder, are Starbursts vegan ? The answer is pretty depressing.
Starbursts are not vegan in the US, but they are vegan in the UK. This is mainly due to the fact that US Starbursts contain Gelatin.
What is Gelatin and Why Is It Used?
Gelatin is a by-product of the meat industry. It is taken mainly from the bones of cows. There are many examples of gelatin used in foods. One is the coagulation that you would find the top of a Thankgiving roast in the fridge. While animals are not directly killed for their gelatin, funds from it still support the meat industry.
So why is it used in foods? It is mainly used in candies and a few other things because it makes a good binder. The gumminess of candies, or the chewiness of taffy can be attributed to Gelatin. However, Pectin from plants makes a good alternative for homemade candies.
What About Palm Oil?
Many vegans fight over whether or not palm oil is vegan. While it technically contains no animal products, it does harm animals. Palm oil is one of the biggest contributors of deforestation. It can be found in many products, from candies to ramen. It is so widespread that it can be hard to avoid.
So whether palm oil is vegan or not depends on where you draw the line as a vegan. If you want to eliminate palm oil, that is fine. However, if eliminating palm oil stresses you out to the point of quitting veganism, it’s not worth it. The least one can do is the reduce their consumption of foods containing palm oil.
On a side note, some vegans also tend to avoid sugar. This is due to the fact that many refined sugars are processed using bone char. It is difficult to know what sugar is processed this way or not. This is why many vegans choose not to focus too much on refined sugar. Especially because everything has added sugar in it.
What Alternatives Exist?
Since you in the US can’t eat Starbursts, it is good to find a delicious alternative. A good replacement would be Starburst Minis, which are similar in taste and texture, but don’t contain gelatin. Also, Now and Laters(original now and laters are vegan, but the Chewy, Extreme Sour and Splits contain egg whites) as well as Mambas chewy candies are both vegan. So are Air Heads, and Skittles.
However, if you also want to eliminate Palm oil from your diet as well, here are some options. Now & Laters and Airheads are both vegan, as well as palm oil free. That way to can still eat delicious candy while doing your best.
Starbursts may not be vegan if you live in the US or want to avoid palm oil. There are plenty of great alternatives to choose from for stocking stuffers and celebrations.