When you think of breakfast cereals, Corn Flakes are what comes to mind. Corn Flakes are the original cereals, they were created by William Kellogg in 1894, in an attempt to create a type of food that would help the patients of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan.
Battle Creek Sanitarium was a health resort managed by William’s brother, John Kellogg. In order to make the cereal even more popular, Will wanted to add sugar to the cereals, but John wasn’t in agreement (for obvious health reasons), so Will started the Kellogg company, to produce corn flakes for a wider audience.
Corn Flakes, today, have sugar, but only in very small amounts. And in comparison to the different cereals out in the market, it is certainly healthier than most. Interestingly, what was initially created to keep patients healthy, was created using mostly corn, a plant-based food.
So… are today’s Corn Flakes considered vegan? Yes, Corn Flakes are vegan!
Corn Flakes: A Slightly Deeper Look.
Instead, you know that you’re eating something that is relatively more healthy than most of the stuff out there.
Among the many brands of cereals, Corn Flakes is one of the few in the United States that is not fortified with Vitamin D3, a type of vitamin that is generally found in lanolin, the grease from sheep’s wool. That’s usually what keeps vegans from consuming certain cereals like Frosted Flakes, Golden Grahams, among many other brands.
Thankfully, Corn Flares don’t have vitamin D3, so they are vegan. I’m happy to eat them from time to time, but we cannot ignore the fact that Corn Flakes also contain sugar.
Isn’t Sugar Vegan?
This might bore some people off, but for some stricter vegans, it’s important. In some countries (including the United States), sugar companies often use bone char to refine cane sugar. However, what some people aren’t aware of, is that bone char is actually the byproduct of heating the bones of cattle at extremely high temperatures.
It’s a black powder that sugar companies use specifically to decolorize sugar, through a filtration and bleaching process that gives sugar its white, glowing color.
The good news is that not every company uses bone char. In fact, some companies have now started using granular activated charcoal to achieve the same result. And other sugar companies source beet sugar, which does not require bone char to crystallize.
However, what’s frustrating is that you don’t know which type of sugar companies are using in their products, because it’s not specified on the labels. If you’re really interested in knowing, you need to contact the company and expect them to be transparent about it.
So yes, sugar is still considered a questionable ingredient, mainly due to the lack of pre-emptive transparency from companies. Do you love Oreos? Then you gotta read this.
Bottom Line: Corn Flakes Are Vegan!
Indeed, Corn Flakes don’t have any animal-based ingredients.
Therefore, there’s no way I could say the opposite.
There’s the issue with the use of bone char to decolorize sugar, but it’s an issue that it’s really hard to figure out. Oftentimes companies source from a bunch of different suppliers. So, you might have two suppliers that use bone char, and one that uses granular activated charcoal.
In the end, you won’t know what box of cereals contains the vegan or the non-vegan sugar.
Top 2 Vegan Recommendations in 2021
- This is hands down our favorite vegan supplement. It’s not your typical multivitamin because it was created from vegans to vegans. It contains vitamin B12, vitamin D, and the Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA). These ingredients are delivered in the right doses, so that you never have to worry about a potential deficiency in the future. Feel free to read my review on the supplement as well.
- Our second recommendation is this amazing vegan starter kit. It is actually a bundle with 9 e-books that will help you lead a healthy, vegan lifestyle. It has great advice, and it includes print-outs and checklists that will allow you to easily put theory into practice, particularly if you’re new to the vegan lifestyle. This is a recommendation I’ve also included in my essential vegan products page as well.