Why Lorna Doone Cookies Might Not Be Vegan

Lorna Doone is a brand of golden, square-shaped shortbread cookies produced by Nabisco and owned by Mondelez International.

They were introduced in March 1912 as an original recipe from Irish bakers who ran a bakery in Chicago, but because they couldn’t keep it open, one of the owners sold the recipe to the F.A Kennedy Steam Bakery, which had produced the Fig Newton cookies a decade earlier. 

Let’s check the ingredients and determine whether Lorna Doone cookies are vegan. 

Lorna Doone Cookies Ingredients

The ingredients within Lorna Doone cookies are the following:

  • Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin. Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid)
  • Sugar
  • Canola Oil
  • Palm Oil
  • Corn Flour
  • Salt
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Baking Soda
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Cornstarch
  • and Artificial Flavor.

So, are Lorna Doone cookies vegan? Fortunately, they do not contain ingredients of animal origin, however, stricter vegans might still not eat them because of ingredients such as sugar and palm oil, which are a bit controversial within the vegan community. 

Why Sugar Might Not Be Vegan

Even though sugar is derived from a plant source (sugar cane or sugar beets), it’s still common in the United States for sugar refineries to use bone char to filter cane sugar. 

Bone char is a charcoal-like material produced by charring animal bones, and it’s used as a decolorizing filter, which allows cane sugar to achieve its desirable white color. 

This is disturbing for many vegans, so a lot of them will avoid consuming sugar, especially from companies that are known to source it from suppliers that use bone char.

Mondelez International sources sugar from a variety of suppliers, including ones that use bone char, so it’s impossible to trace the sugar back to its source and identify whether it has been refined with bone char— which is precisely the reason why Oreos are also a rather controversial product. 

Why Palm Oil Might Not Be Vegan

Palm oil is also a plant-based ingredient. However, to create palm oil, acres of forests are destroyed to make space for palm oil plantations, including ecosystems and natural habitats.

palm oil deforestation
Destroyed rainforests.

Because of this, we have a lot of species that are now endangered. One example is orangutans.

According to research released by Cell, between 1999 and 2015, palm oil production has led to the demise of 100,000 orangutans. However, other species like the Bornean tigers, elephants, and rhinoceros are also at risk.

Palm oil isn’t an ingredient that most vegans will avoid (just like sugar), and while it’s evidently destructive, it’s hard to find an alternative that is as efficient when compared to other vegetable oils.

The World Wildlife Fund states that palm oil supplies 40% of the world’s vegetable oil demand on just under 6% of the land used to produce all vegetable oils.

In other words, to get the same amount of alternative oils like soybean, coconut, or sunflower oil you would require between 4 and 10 times more land, which would just shift the problem to other parts of the world and threaten other habitats, species, and communities.

Not to mention the fact that there are millions of smallholder farmers who depend on producing palm oil for their livelihoods, which means boycotting palm might not necessarily be a good idea.

With that being said, some vegans choose to avoid palm oil because they do not deem it vegan-friendly.  

Final Thoughts

Lorne Doone cookies do not contain animal ingredients, which makes them vegan-friendly. However, some vegans might still choose to avoid them because they might deem ingredients such as sugar and palm oil non-vegan, mainly due to the unethical practices that may go into producing those ingredients. 

Therefore, depending on what type of vegan you are, you may or not be able to eat Lorne Doone cookies. 

Alexandre Valente

Hey there! My name is Alex and I've been vegan for more than five 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!

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