The Sweet Debate: Are M&Ms Really Vegetarian?
M&Ms have been a beloved treat for decades. But with the rise in vegetarianism and veganism, many people are wondering if these popular chocolates are suitable for those avoiding animal products. To answer the question of whether M&Ms can be considered vegetarian or not, it’s important to look at the ingredients and their sources.
What is Vegetarianism?
In order to understand whether M&Ms are vegetarian friendly, it’s important to define the term vegetarianism. Vegetarianism is an umbrella term for various dietary lifestyles that exclude, or mostly exclude, meat. Many vegetarians are lacto-ovo vegetarians, which means they exclude all types of meat, including poultry and fish, but still include dairy and egg products. Other vegetarian diets include lacto vegetarians, who eat dairy but no eggs, and vegans, who don’t eat any animal products, including honey.
What are the Ingredients in M&Ms?
The ingredients in M&Ms are a mixture of vegan and non-vegan items. The vegan ingredients in M&Ms include: sugar, cocoa butter, corn syrup, dextrin, coloring (including blue 1 lake, red 40 lake, yellow 6 and yellow 5 lake, red 40, and blue 1), dextrose, artificial and natural flavors, and carnauba wax. The non-vegan ingredients in M&Ms include: milk, whey, and nonfat milk.
Are the Ingredients in M&Ms Vegetarian?
Most of the ingredients in M&Ms are suitable for vegetarians. The vegan ingredients, which make up the majority of the ingredients, are all vegetarian-friendly. The non-vegan ingredients, however, are not. Milk, whey, and nonfat milk all come from animal sources, so they are not suitable for vegetarians.
Are M&Ms Suitable for Vegans?
M&Ms are not suitable for vegans. As mentioned previously, the non-vegan ingredients in M&Ms come from animal sources, so vegans should avoid them. Additionally, some of the artificial colors used in the production of M&Ms have been tested on animals, so vegans who are against animal testing may also choose to avoid them.
Are There Any Vegetarian Alternatives to M&Ms?
Fortunately, there are plenty of vegetarian alternatives to M&Ms. Many companies make vegan versions of M&Ms that use plant-based ingredients in place of dairy. Additionally, there are many vegan chocolate brands that make chocolates similar to M&Ms.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that M&Ms are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans. The non-vegan ingredients make them off-limits for those following plant-based diets. However, there are plenty of vegetarian alternatives to M&Ms, so those who want to enjoy a similar treat can still do so.
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