Food - Drink
Why Sugar Is Not Always Vegan
By FELIX BEHR
As a "plant-based" ingredient that comes from sugar cane, it's easy to assume that sugar is safe to use in your vegan desserts. However, there's a major distinction between table sugar, raw sugar, organic sugar, and others; these products' refining processes determine which sugars are safe for vegans and which ones aren’t.
All sugar is made from sugar cane and is naturally a vegan ingredient. However, during the process of decolorizing sugar from brown to white, many companies use bone char sourced from cattle bones, making the final product non-vegan; this is important to keep in mind when purchasing sugar and products containing sugar.
In the U.S., all sugars labeled as "organic" are vegan, because the USDA does not label sugars filtered through bone char as organic; "raw" and unrefined sugar is almost always vegan as well. Still, keep your eyes peeled for sugar and sugar-containing foods specifically marked as “vegan” to avoid potential mix-ups.