Why Oreos Aren't As Vegan As You Might Think

Whether you are a devoted vegan or not, you might have heard somewhere along the way that Oreos are actually vegan. But the promising revelation is not exactly suitable for all vegans. Though Oreos used to be made with lard, the company eventually switched to vegetable shortening before removing all hydrogenated vegetable oils, according to The Heritage Cook. While the removal of lard is what spurred on the rumors of the cookies being vegan, there still might be some dairy in the classic sandwich cookies.

Per Taste of Home, Oreos are made in a factory that also uses milk for other products. That means the cookies could come into contact with milk and be cross-contaminated or exposed to the dairy product. And if the cookies come in contact with milk, there could be trace amounts of milk in the cookies even though it technically isn't an ingredient. Some flavors of Oreos, such as those dipped in fudge, definitely aren't vegan-friendly as the fudge contains milk, as noted by vegan resource VeggL.

These are the best Oreo options for vegans

Something else to consider is honey. Not all flavors of Oreos use honey, but those that do aren't vegan either since the honey comes from bees, per LIVEKINDLY. Sugar and palm oil are also problematic ingredients for vegans. Also, as VeggL also points out, Oreo flavors that have colorful fillings or ingredients like sprinkles in the crème might not be suitable for vegans either due to the artificial coloring and the animal testing involved in their creation. 

So, you really need to think through which Oreo flavors are suitable for yourself or your vegan friends before you pick up just any flavor. Fortunately, LIVEKINDLY has put together a list of 20 vegan-friendly flavors. But if you are ever in doubt, you can't go wrong with original Oreos so long as the vegans who partake are OK knowing the cookies might have trace amounts of milk. In general, stay away from the more indulgent and brightly colored flavors.