Figuring out if the Nacho Fries at Taco Bell are vegan is like solving a mystery.
Why? Because companies often hide what’s really in their products.
But don’t worry! This article is your detective, here to reveal the truth and help you live your best vegan life.
Are the Nacho Fries at Taco Bell Vegan?
Nope, sorry to break it to you, but the Nacho Fries at Taco Bell are not vegan. The culprits? Nonfat milk and cheese whey.
These ingredients come from animals, so they’re a no-go for anyone on a vegan diet.
They also come from sugar, which is often processed through animal bone char. Taco Bell doesn’t say one way or another if it uses sugar processed with bone char, so we can’t be sure.
Usually, when a manufacturer chooses to use sugar not processed with bone char, it makes a point of publicizing the fact. A manufacturer that doesn’t disclose the source of its sugar gives strict vegans no choice but to avoid its products.
Are the Nacho Fries at Taco Bell Cruelty-Free?
Another bummer — we can’t confirm that the Nacho Fries at Taco Bell are cruelty-free. There’s a high chance that some of the ingredients are GMO, which likewise increases the chances that they’re tested on animals.
Furthermore, human-made additives are also frequently tested on animals, and this product has a lot of additives.
If cruelty-free is of paramount concern to you, you’re better off making your own food at home from whole ingredients.
What Are the Nacho Fries at Taco Bell Made Of?
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Here’s what’s actually in those tasty fries:
- Vegetable oil
- Enriched flour
- Rice flour
- Modified corn and food starch
- Cellulose gum
- Guar gum
- Disodium dihydrogen pyrophosphate
- Paprika extract
- Citric acid
- Disodium guanylate & inosinate
- Aged cayenne red peppers
- Natural flavors
- Nonfat milk
- Cheese whey
- Dipotassium phosphate
- Jalapeno puree
- Lactic acid
- Potassium citrate
- Sodium stearoyl lactylate
- Annatto and oleoresin paprika
Potatoes are plant based and totally vegan. They’re the star of the fry show!
Vegetable oil is plant based and vegan. It’s used for frying the potatoes and is a blend of various oils like canola, soybean, sunflower, palm, and cottonseed.
Enriched flour is usually vegan and is made from wheat. It’s used to give the fries their structure.
Cornstarch is plant-based and vegan. It’s used to give the fries a crispy texture.
Salt is a mineral and is vegan. It’s used for seasoning.
Sugar is plant based but can sometimes be processed using bone char, making its vegan status a bit tricky. However, it’s used for flavor.
Rice flour is plant-based and vegan. It’s used in the coating for the fries.
Leavening agents can be vegan or not, depending on the source. They are used to make the fries puff up during cooking.
Modified Corn and Food Starch
Both of these ingredients are typically plant based and vegan. They’re used as thickeners in the fries.
Dextrin is usually plant based and vegan. It’s used for texture.
Dextrose is a sugar derived from plants and is vegan. It’s used for flavor.
Cellulose gum is plant based and vegan. It’s used as a thickener.
Guar gum is plant based and vegan. It’s used as a stabilizer in the fries.
Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate
This chemical compound is used to maintain the color of the fries and is generally considered vegan.
Maltodextrin is typically plant based and vegan. It’s used for flavor and texture.
Garlic, Paprika, Sugar, Onion, Salt
All these are plant-based seasonings and are vegan.
Paprika Extract, Citric Acid, Disodium Guanylate & Inosinate, Spices, Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Vinegar
These are all plant-based and vegan ingredients used for flavoring.
Natural flavors can be tricky because they can be either plant or animal-derived. However, in the context of these fries, they are not vegan due to the presence of other non-vegan ingredients.
As mentioned earlier, nonfat milk is animal derived and not vegan. It’s used in the seasoning and sauce.
Cheese whey is also animal derived and not vegan. It’s used in the seasoning and sauce.
Water is, of course, vegan and is used in various stages of preparing the fries.
Maltodextrin is plant based and vegan, used for flavor and texture.
This is plant based and vegan, used for flavor.
Lactic acid can be either plant or animal derived, but in the context of these fries, it is not vegan due to the presence of other non-vegan ingredients.
Cellulose Gum, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Citric Acid, Annatto and Oleoresin Paprika
These are generally considered vegan and are used for various purposes including color, texture, and flavor.
Vegan Alternatives to the Nacho Fries at Taco Bell
If you’re bummed about the brands such as Nacho Fries, don’t worry! There are still plenty of vegan options at Taco Bell and other fast food restaurants:
- Veggie Power Bowl (ask for no cheese or sour cream)
- Black Bean Burrito (again, no cheese or sour cream)
- Vegan Tacos (customize it your way)
- Homemade vegan nachos (make these at home with vegan cheese!)
Being vegan is a super cool way to show love to animals and our planet.
While the nacho fries at Taco Bell may be a no-go, there are plenty of other yummy and ethical food options out there.
Keep being the awesome, compassionate person you are, and make choices that are good for you and our Earth! 🌱✌️