Chex Mix is a time-tested party snack everyone loves. It’s available in most convenient stores, gas stations, and even online platforms such as Walmart, Amazon, and Target.
According to chexmix.com, there are multiple flavors and variations, including:
- Max’d Buffalo Ranch
- Max’d Spicy Dill
- Honey BBQ
- Sour Cream & Onion
- Trail Mix
- Dark Chocolate
- Jalapeño Cheddar
- Hot & Spicy
- Ghost Pepper
- Honey Nut
Out of all the various Chex Mix flavors, the majority contain animal ingredients, but there are one or two exceptions. Let’s first take a glance at the non-vegan ingredients in Chex Mix.
Non-Vegan Ingredients in Chex Mix
Chex Mix contains animal-based ingredients. The majority of the flavors contain derivatives of milk, but you also have two flavors that contain honey: Honey BBQ, and Honey Nut.
Here are the ingredients present in the “Bold” Chex Mix:
A quick glance at the package, anyone would think this flavor would be vegan given the garlic and onion pictures on the cover. However, that just shows that some brands rely heavily on animal-based ingredients even for flavors that could potentially go without it.
That demands the question, which flavors are actually vegan?
Which Chex Mix Flavors Are Actually Vegan?
Among the 14 different flavors available, there are two flavors that can be considered vegan: Traditional Chex Mix and Ghost Pepper Chex Mix.
These are the ingredients in the Traditional Chex Mix:
And these are ingredients in the Ghost Pepper Mix:
Above I’ve bolded ingredients that may be considered questionable. In other words, these ingredients may not be vegan depending on one or more factors such as:
- Actual Source
- Refining process
- Direct or indirect impact on animal suffering
In fact, most vegans are fine with consuming such ingredients without further questioning because, in most cases, they’re either sourced from plants or are man-made.
This being said, if we make an effort to dive a bit deeper, sometimes that’s not the case.
Should Vegans Avoid Questionable Ingredients?
It all comes down to each individual’s definition of veganism. What I find is that there are vegans that are more tolerant than others, and vice-versa. However, for those that are against these “questionable” ingredients, there are powerful reasons fueling that belief.
Unfortunately, Chex Mix contains some of those ingredients:
Refined sugar: Depending on the type of sugar and how it’s refined, sugar may or not be vegan. In the United States, the use of bone char to filter and bleach sugar is quite common. Bone char is essentially obtained by carbonizing the bones of cattle. It’s what enables sugar to have such a white, and immaculate color. Read more on that here.
Natural flavors: The issue with natural flavors is a tad more complicated. Natural flavors can be derived from both plant and animal sources. You have the word “natural flavors” on a label, but you don’t have any idea what that represents. In most cases, this source is plant-based, but there is always a chance you may have animal derivatives in the mix. Feel free to read on it here.
Artificial flavors and colors: It’s true that anything artificial is man-made and it’s not derived from nature. Meaning, it’s not from an animal source. However, artificial ingredients are a byproduct of intense animal testing (in most cases), and therefore stricter vegans don’t agree with its consumption. Besides, it doesn’t seem to be a one & done deal when it comes to colors. In 2017 and 2018, animal tests were made to guarantee the safety of red #40, an artificial color.
For these reasons and more, questionable ingredients such as these sit on a “gray” area, where they still warrant debates within the vegan community.
Should you stop consuming these ingredients? Well, it all comes down to your own personal view of the matter. In my opinion, you’re not less of a vegan for consuming such ingredients.
However, you’re also bound to find people that digress.
Are There Any Better Alternatives
Although I haven’t found an equal alternative to Chex Mix, I’ve found some similar options that are healthier and 100% suitable for vegans:
- Orchard Valley Harvest Trail Mix
- Nature’s Garden Healthy Trail Mix
- Enjoy Life Seed & Fruit Mix
- Raw Superfoods Trail Mix
Feel free to try ’em out!
Summary: Most Chex Mix Are Not Vegan
Yes, among the 14 Chex Mix flavors, only two flavors are considered vegan: Traditional Chex Mix and Ghost Pepper Chex Mix. However, if you’re a more stringent vegan, let me mention that both these products contain ingredients such as sugar, natural flavors, and artificial flavors & colors.
Ingredients that you may not be in alignment with due to the reasons I’ve mentioned earlier.
In any case, feel free to try some of the healthier alternatives I’ve suggested, as they’re 100% vegan as far as the information provided by the respective manufacturers goes.
I hope this blog post has served you somehow, and thank you for reading!