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“Which gum is vegan?” What kind of question is that? It’s all vegan, isn’t it?
Hey, we get it; gum is one of those products that you just assume is vegan without question. But you might be surprised to learn what kind of ingredients are found in many gum brands. Surprise and shock were our reactions, so stick around to find out what we found so unsettling about gum.
We also get to the bottom of gum and whether it’s a vegan-friendly product.
What Is Gum?
In the classic Seinfeld episode, “The Gum,” Jerry ponders this very question: “What is gum? It’s not a liquid; it’s not a solid; it’s not a food.” He arrives at gum being akin to a stationary bike for your jaw.
But later in the same episode, Kramer calls gum “A perfectly sane food to eat.” So, what exactly is this stuff that’s caused so much confusion over the years?
At its core, chewing gum is a soft compound that allows you to continually chew it without being dissolved or swallowed. Moreover, it comes in a variety of flavors, shapes, sizes, and colors.
Since gum isn’t technically a food (you don’t eat it for nourishment), it’s easy to assume that it’s vegan and call it a day. But upon closer inspection, gum manufacturers have managed to sneak in all kinds of weird ingredients, animal parts included.
As such, not all gum is vegan. Therefore, it’s important for vegans to be able to differentiate between which gums are vegan-friendly and which ones are not. That’s where we come in. We’ve researched and narrowed down the gum you can confidently buy without fear of interring with your vegan lifestyle.
But first, we think it’s prudent to discuss the various non-vegan ingredients that make up many brands of gum. Explore the list below and keep an eye out for the following ingredients the next time you want to pick up a pack of gum.
Ingredients to Watch For
If you see any of the ingredients listed below, you know to look elsewhere for your gum fix. We’ll also briefly discuss what it is about the following ingredients that make them non-vegan.
Glycerin is found in plant and animal fats and is sometimes used to make chewing gum, soap, mouthwash, etc.
Gelatin is made by boiling animal skins, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, and even bones. Moreover, gelatin typically comes from pigs or cattle. It’s probably safe to assume that most people think they are gnawing on cow bones when they chew gum.
What’s more, gelatin is often used as a binder. And it’s this binder that helps keep gum in its continuous soft state as you chew it.
Stearic acid is a substance found in animals as well as plants. Furthermore, the stearic acid that comes from animals is usually derived from the fat of pigs, cattle, sheep, and even cats and dogs! So, what purpose could stearic acid possibly have that benefits gum?
It serves as a thickening agent to help keep your gum chewable. Of course, not all brands utilize such ingredients in the manufacturing of their gum. Keep reading to learn more.
So, Which Gum Brands Are Vegan?
Fortunately, you have quite a selection to choose from. There are many brands of vegan-friendly gum that avoid using the animal products discussed above, and the planet is a better place because of it. Sure, it’s not the biggest impact in the world, but it’s something.
If more companies actively avoid using animal products in their goods, we might start to see improved regulations that protect our animal friends. In any event, let’s take a look at the various gum brands that are safe for vegan consumption.
- Extra (Please note, however, that only some Extra flavors are vegan-friendly. As such, you’ll want to double-check the ingredients on the label. If you find that no gelatin is included, it’s safe to chew)
- Orbit (Please note, however, that only some Orbit flavors are vegan-friendly. As such, you’ll want to double-check the ingredients on the label. If you find that no gelatin is included, it’s safe to chew)
- NeuroGum Nootropic Energy Gum
- Mentos Gum (Tropical only)
- Tree Hugger Gum
- Big League Chew
- B-Fresh Gum
- Simply Gum
- Juicy Fruit
- Spry Gum
- PUR Gum
- 5 Gum
Now that you know which gum brands offer pro-vegan selections let’s look at a few that you want to avoid at all costs.
These gum selections contain various ingredients that aren’t vegan-friendly. A couple of them (Extra and Orbit) are easy to confuse with vegan products, so you want to be sure to check the ingredients on the label.
If you find anything discussed above, it’s best to avoid and look for another brand of gum.
- Orbit (Any flavors with gelatin)
- Extra (All Ice Crystal flavors)
- Ice Breakers Ice Cubes
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of actively checking the ingredients listed on the labels of all gum brands. Furthermore, just because a brand offers vegan-friendly gum doesn’t mean that all flavors are vegan.
In fact, there’s a very good chance that some flavors contain non-vegan ingredients. So do your due diligence in your research protocol and examine each brand carefully before buying.
Is Gum Good Choice for Vegans?
Not really. Since you don’t get any nutritional value from gum, it’s hard to justify it as a good choice for vegans. Even the vegan-friendly gum selections fail to offer any redeeming value. As such, vegan gum is more of a novelty.
Still, at least you have options to choose from, so you can be sure not to go against your core values. We hope you found this guide helpful in your quest for vegan-friendly gum products. But don’t stop here — we have many more articles detailing which products are safe for vegan diets.
So be sure to head on over to our info page for all the latest restaurants, ingredients, and products that offer pro-vegan selections.