Hello, young Earth guardians! It’s not always easy to figure out whether a product like General Mills Lucky Charms is vegan or not.
Sometimes, manufacturers include ingredients that the rest of us can’t recognize — or even spell.
But fear not, my eco-warriors, this article is here to uncover the truth and support you in your vegan lifestyle, as you strive to protect our planet and the creatures that inhabit it.
Are Lucky Charms Vegan?
I have some news that might be a bit disappointing: Lucky Charms are not vegan. No, they don’t contain the tears of leprechauns, but they do have other non-vegan ingredients.
Lucky Charms contain gelatin, which is made from animal bones and is used to give the marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal their squishy texture. This single ingredient makes Lucky Charms non-vegan.
But there’s more, my friends. Lucky Charms also contain sugar, which might have been processed with bone char. The use of bone char is waning in favor of vegan methods, but it’s still out there.
Are Lucky Charms Cruelty-Free?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Lucky Charms is not a cruelty-free cereal.
First of all, Lucky Charms contain artificial colors that have been tested on animals.
Second, Lucky Charms is not a non-GMO food. Several ingredients in Lucky Charms come from GMO crops, including sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, and cornstarch. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are tested on animals and are, therefore, not cruelty-free.
Our mission is to create a compassionate world, and this product doesn’t quite fit that bill.
What Are Lucky Charms Made Of?
Let’s take a closer look at what’s in this box of Lucky Charms:
- Whole grain oats
- Marshmallows (sugar, modified cornstarch, corn syrup, dextrose, gelatin, calcium carbonate, yellows 5 & 6, blue 1, red 40, artificial flavor)
- Oat flour
- Corn syrup
- Trisodium phosphate
- Food coloring
- Natural and artificial flavor
Whole Grain Oats
Whole grain oats are grains that include the entire oat kernel. They’re natural and wholesome, but in Lucky Charms, they’re mixed with not-so-great ingredients.
Lucky Charms’ marshmallows contain several ingredients. Gelatin, as we mentioned, is derived from animal bones. The colors (red 40, yellows 5 & 6, and blue 1) are artificial and have a history of animal testing. Several of the other ingredients are GMO.
Sugar can be derived from various sources, but the issue here is the processing. It might be processed with bone char, which is not vegan. Plus, it’s probably GMO.
Oat flour is made from whole grain oats, and it’s vegan friendly. But, again, it’s hanging out in not-so-great company in this cereal.
Corn Syrup, Cornstarch, and Modified Cornstarch
These ingredients are derived from corn and are generally considered vegan. However, they are processed and not the healthiest options. They’re all GMO.
Trisodium phosphate is a salt used to improve texture. It’s vegan, but its health impacts can be questionable.
Natural and Artificial Flavor
Natural flavors can be derived from plant or animal sources, while artificial flavors are synthesized in labs. It’s hard to know where they come from without more information from the manufacturer. Most artificial food ingredients are tested on animals.
Vegan Alternatives to Lucky Charms
There are plenty of vegan cereal alternative brands for when you’re craving Lucky Charms. Look for cereals that are marked as vegan friendly, and that don’t contain gelatin or questionable ingredients:
- Cascadian Farm Organic Cereals: These cereals are organic and free from artificial colors and flavors. Read the label, though, because some contain honey.
- Nature’s Path EnviroKidz: This brand offers fun, animal-themed cereals that are gluten-free and vegan.
- Barbara’s Puffins Cereal: A vegan-friendly option that’s high in fiber.
No Lucky Charms cereal, whether Lucky Charms, Chocolate Lucky Charms, or Fruity Lucky Charms, is vegan or cruelty-free. The gelatin in Lucky Charms marshmallows and the potential use of bone char in sugar processing, as well as the artificial colors and GMOs, make it unsuitable for vegans.
However, the good news is that there are plenty of vegan cereal alternatives available. By choosing these alternatives, you’re not only taking care of the animals but also contributing to the well-being of our precious Earth.
Keep that compassionate heart strong, and continue making food choices that align with your values and the health of our planet.