Are Frosted Flakes Suitable For Vegans?

frosted flakes

Frosted Flakes or Frosties is a breakfast cereal produced by the Kellogg Company and consists of sugar-coated flakes. While it’s not a mark for health— taking into account the unhealthy amounts of sugar —it’s always been popular among children and adults alike.

It was introduced into the market in 1952, and due to its popularity, it gave birth to generic versions of the cereal in different stores across the world.

But even despite the cheaper generic versions, the Frosties remain the best choice! In 2017, the Frosted Flakes was the second bestselling cereal in the first half of 2017 in the US in gross sales.

Needless to say, there are plenty of vegans wondering if they’re vegan. Unfortunately, Frosted Flakes may not be vegan, but you can find alternatives that are healthier and nutritious.

If you wish to learn why this crowd favorite may not be vegan, feel free to continue reading.

Frosted Flakes: Why Aren’t They Vegan?

frosted flakes
Ingredients: Milled corn, sugar, malt flavor, contains 2% or less of salt. Vitamins and Minerals: Iron (ferric phosphate), niacinamide, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B1 (thiamin hydrochloride), folic acid, vitamin D3, vitamin B12.
Although the Frosted Flakes don’t have any flagrant animal-based ingredients like milk, eggs or honey, there are questionable ingredients such as vitamin D3 and sugar that may be equally bad.

It’s also worth mentioning there are other five versions of Frosted Flakes which include:

  • Cinnamon Frosted Flakes;
  • Frosted Flakes with Chocolate & Marshmallows;
  • Chocolate Frosted Flakes;
  • Honey Nut Frosted Flakes;
  • Frosted Flakes with Marshmallows.

Other than the Cinnamon and Chocolate Frosted Flakes, the other variations either contain honey or gelatin which is present in the marshmallows.

Obviously, honey is extracted from beehives and has a direct impact on bees.

According to The Vegan Society, conventional beekeepers harvest the maximum amount of honey possible, with high honey yields being viewed as a sign of success. However, when they remove the honey, they replace it with a sugar substitute that is worse for the bees’ health since it lacks the micronutrients honey has.

In addition, honey bees are bred to increase productivity. This method of selective breeding narrows the population gene pool and increases susceptivity to diseases and large scale die-offs. Diseases are also spread by importing different species of bees for use in beehives.

In other words, bees often die in the process of honey production and extraction, which is why vegans are against the consumption of honey. Plus, honey belongs to bees. Period.

Gelatin is essentially obtained by boiling the skin, ligaments, tendons, and/or bones of pigs and cows. It’s used in many products, including the marshmallows in certain Frosted Flakes.

Why Is Vitamin D3 Not Vegan?

Most of the vitamins added to fortified foods (cereals) are synthetic, but Vitamin D3 is the exception. Because generally, the great majority of vitamin D3 in cereals is sourced from lanolin —the grease from sheep’s wool.

That’s why I can’t consider the Frosted Flakes as being vegan.

Some vegans are still okay with eating cereals fortified with vitamin D3.

That’s because there are only trace amounts of vitamin D3, so some vegans don’t believe it’s worth cutting out their favorite cereal.

Honestly, whether you consume it or not, it comes down to your definition of veganism.

Why Is Sugar Not Vegan?

It’s not that sugar isn’t vegan — it’s just that some sugar may not be vegan. In some countries like the United States, sugar companies may use a black powder named bone char to refine cane sugar.

Bone char is the result of heating up the bones of cattle at really high temperatures until it turns into a black powder that is then used to give cane sugar its white, pristine color.

However, not every sugar company uses bone char.

Some companies use a vegan alternative called granular activated charcoal, which achieves the same result as bone char but without any animal parts involved in the process. There are also some companies that instead of cane sugar, they use beet sugar — a sugar extracted from sugar beets that do not go through the same process as cane sugar.

Instead of being filtered and bleached with bone char, beet sugar is extracted using a diffuser and mixed with additives to crystalize.

Both cane and beet sugar are used in equal amounts in the United States.

The problem is that you don’t know which one is being used since there’s no indication on the label. Now, certain companies like Oreos use different sugar suppliers, so you may have a mix of sugars that follow distinct filtration processes.

In order to know which sugar is being used, your best bet is to contact the company.

That is something I highly recommend, especially if you’re against the use of bone char.

Bottom Line: Frosted Flakes May Not Be Vegan.

The reason Frosted Flakes may not be vegan is mostly because of Vitamin D3 (which is typically extracted from sheep wool).

Other than that, Frosted Flakes do not have any blatant animal ingredients.

Therefore, if you alright with consuming Vitamin D3, then perhaps Frosted Flakes are for you. Also keep in mind that some Frosted Flakes variations have honey and gelatin.

Thanks for reading!

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About the Author: Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than three years! I've set up this blog because I'm really passionate about veganism and living a more eco-conscious life. Hopefully, I can use this website as a channel to help you out on your own journey!