Why Vegans Should Always Read The Label Before Buying Sorbet

Ice cream: It's just one of the many sweet treats vegans have had to sacrifice — that is, until vegan ice cream flavors became widely available. Still, trips to your local ice cream parlor or gelato vendor can be grim if there aren't any dairy-free options available. For that reason, many vegans opt for sorbet, an icy treat made from fruit puree and sweetener (via MasterClass). Light, smooth, and refreshing, sorbet hits all the marks you look to ice cream for on a hot summer day — but with no dairy involved.

Sorbet flavors can vary depending on where you go, but generally, there is a rainbow of fruity varieties to choose from. From raspberry to limoncello and orange to blackberry, sorbet delivers a sweet scoop that vegans and non-vegans alike enjoy. However, if you've taken the oath of veganism and, in turn, given up all animal — and insect — products, sorbet might not always be your go-to ice cream substitute. 

If this is the case for you, you'll want to double-check the ingredients list before you dive into the carton.

Honey-sweetened sorbet

While most sorbets you come across are gluten-free and dairy-free, according to MasterClass, they aren't all honey-free. Similar to the reason some people don't consider figs vegan-friendly, honey has been a controversial food in the vegan community that isn't technically considered vegan by a lot of people. Due to the negative effect large-scale beekeeping has on the species, honey production is often accused of being exploitive and immoral (per The Washington Post). While this isn't a universal belief for all vegans, it is for some. So, it really comes down to your own personal approach to veganism.

Keep in mind most sorbet varieties are sweetened with simple syrup or corn syrup, which are totally vegan-friendly, but it doesn't hurt to double-check labels if honey is something that you choose not to eat it. And, if you're out at a gelato shop or ice cream parlor, be sure to ask whoever is working what their gelato is sweetened with — just to be sure.