Determining whether Life Cereal is vegan can be a tough nut to crack.
This difficulty often stems from manufacturers disguising the true nature and source of their ingredients.
In this article, we’re going to shed light on the truth and help you navigate the potentially murky waters of your vegan lifestyle.
Is Life Cereal Vegan?
No, Life Cereal is not vegan.
The primary culprits in the Life Cereal ingredients list are sugar and natural flavors. Although they may seem innocuous, both of these ingredients can have non-vegan sources.
Non-organic cane sugar, often found in cereals, can be processed with bone char from animal bones, rendering it non-vegan.
The ambiguous term “natural flavors” can sometimes include animal-derived substances, which makes it hard for those following a strict vegan lifestyle.
Is Life Cereal Cruelty-Free?
Unfortunately, we cannot definitively label Life Cereal as cruelty-free. The use of bone char in refining sugar and the potential for animal derivatives in natural flavors raises concerns about animal welfare.
What Is Life Cereal Made Of?
Life Cereal, a popular breakfast choice, has been enjoyed by generations for its delightful crunch and slightly sweet flavor. Not only does it promise a wholesome and fulfilling start to your day, but its simple ingredient list also contributes to its popularity. Here, we delve into the individual components of Life Cereal:
- Whole grain oat flour
- Corn flour
- Whole wheat flour
- Rice flour
- Calcium carbonate
- Disodium phosphate
- Reduced iron
- Zinc oxide
- Pyridoxine hydrochloride
- Thiamin mononitrate
- Folic acid
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
Whole grain oat flour
Whole grain oat flour is made from oats that have been ground into a fine powder. It’s a common ingredient in many cereals and baked goods. Oats are usually grown in regions with cool summers, such as the Northwestern United States and Canada.
This ingredient provides fiber and helps give Life Cereal its hearty texture. Whole grain oat flour is vegan as it comes from a plant source.
Sugar, typically derived from sugarcane or sugar beets, is used in Life Cereal to enhance its sweetness. Sugar plantations are widespread around the world, especially in tropical regions.
Though sugar is plant derived and hence vegan, the refining process can sometimes involve bone char (from animal bones), which is a non-vegan product. However, not all sugar is processed this way and it’s often difficult to tell the source from the product label. Unless explicitly stated as vegan, organic, raw, or unrefined, you may want to avoid it.
Corn flour is a fine powder made from ground, dried corn. Corn is cultivated globally, with the United States being the largest producer. It adds a distinct flavor and helps in the binding process during the cereal’s manufacturing. Corn flour is vegan, derived completely from plants.
Whole wheat flour
Whole wheat flour is made by grinding whole wheat grains. This ingredient adds additional fiber to the cereal and contributes to its texture. Wheat is grown globally, with China, India, and the United States as leading producers. Whole wheat flour is vegan.
Rice flour is derived from finely milled rice. It’s typically used as a thickener in many food products. Rice crops are most common in Asia, particularly in China and India. Rice flour aids in giving the cereal its distinctive crunch. It is vegan since it comes from rice grains.
Salt in Life Cereal is used to enhance flavor. It is usually obtained from seawater or rock deposits. It’s vegan and ubiquitous in most cuisines around the world.
Calcium carbonate is a common substance found in rocks and pearls, but in food, it’s used as a calcium supplement or an anti-caking agent to prevent clumping. It is vegan, despite being a mineral.
Disodium phosphate is a food additive that acts as an emulsifier to mix ingredients well. It’s synthetically produced and is considered vegan.
Reduced iron is a form of iron used to fortify cereals and other processed foods. Iron can be derived from a variety of sources, but the reduced form is often produced synthetically and is considered vegan.
Niacinamide, also known as nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3 used to enrich processed foods. It’s usually synthesized in labs and is vegan.
Zinc oxide is used in food products as a source of zinc, a necessary mineral for health. It’s synthesized in labs and considered vegan.
Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is a synthetic antioxidant used to extend shelf life by preventing oxidative rancidity of fats. It’s vegan.
Pyridoxine hydrochloride is a form of vitamin B6. It’s synthesized and added to fortify the cereal. It’s vegan.
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is used for fortification in processed foods. It’s typically synthesized and is vegan.
Thiamin mononitrate is a stable form of thiamin, or vitamin B1, used to fortify foods. It’s produced synthetically and is vegan.
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin, used to fortify foods. It’s vegan.
Vitamin A in food products can be vegan or non-vegan depending on its source. It can be derived from plant sources like carrots, or from animal sources such as fish liver oil. However, in cereal fortification, the type used is often synthetic and vegan.
Vitamin B12 in food products is synthesized because it’s typically found naturally in animal products. The synthetic form used for fortification is vegan.
Vegan Alternatives to Life Cereal
Although Life Cereal may not make the cut for vegans, there are numerous other vegan cereals on the market. Here are a few examples:
- Nature’s Path Organic Cereals
- Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits
- Bob’s Red Mill Muesli
- Erewhon Corn Flakes
- 365 Everyday Value Organic Morning O’s
These cereals stick to plant-based ingredients and avoid using refined sugars that may be processed with bone char.
While original Life Cereal, and its brands, like Cinnamon Life or Chocolate Life, may seem a tempting and wholesome breakfast choice, it’s not entirely vegan due to potential issues with its sugar and natural flavors.
However, fear not, there are plenty of delectable and nutritious vegan cereal options out there to kickstart your morning in a cruelty-free way!
Be sure to read ingredient labels carefully and continue your admirable commitment to protecting our planet and its animals.