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Are Fig Newtons vegan? That will depend on how strict you are and how comfortable you are with some potentially non-vegan ingredients in Fig Newtons.
For strict vegans, Fig Newtons are not vegan.
Find out why below.
Non-vegan ingredients in Fig Newtons
The company that makes Fig Newtons has many sugar suppliers, some of which filter their cane sugar through bone char.
Bone char is definitely not vegan, as it is literally charred animal bones. But some vegans still eat sugar that is processed with bone char because the sugar does not actually contain any bone char.
This is a difficult decision for many vegans because so many otherwise vegan packaged items contain sugar filtered through bone char.
It is up to you to decide if you are okay consuming this sugar or not.
Whenever you see natural flavor listed as an ingredient, you really have no idea what it is. It is sourced from either plants or animals, but this is not disclosed on packaging and companies usually aren't willing to discuss the source of their natural flavors.
Fig Newtons do not contain artificial colors, but the Newtons Strawberry Cookies contain Red 40, which is an artificial color. Red 40 does not contain any animal ingredients, so you may be okay with this ingredient as a vegan.
However, some vegans avoid all artificial colors because they are periodically tested on animals.
Glycerin is listed as an ingredient in the Fat Free Fig Newtons.
Glycerin can be from plant oil or from animal fat, and the source of the glycerin in Fat Free Fig Newtons is not disclosed on packaging.
Are figs vegan?
Fig Newtons of course contain figs as an ingredient, and yes, figs are vegan.
There has been some controversy with some people saying that figs are not vegan, but that’s not true.
When a wasp pollinates a fig, it does die, but that is just a natural process. There is no animal exploitation involved, so figs are vegan.
Read more about why figs are vegan.
Are Fig Newtons gluten-free?
Fig Newtons contain wheat, so they are NOT gluten-free.
Fig Newtons vegan alternatives
If you are concerned about some of the potentially non-vegan ingredients in Fig Newtons, Nature's Bakery Fig Bars are a great alternative.
Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars are certified vegan by Vegan Action, so you don’t need to worry about any of the ingredients if you are vegan!
They sell the following flavors of fig bars:
- Original Fig
- Apple Cinnamon
- Peach Apricot
Nature’s Bakery even has Gluten-Free Fig Bars, which are certified gluten-free. They come in the following flavors: Blueberry, Raspberry, and Pomegranate.
Fig Newton recipes
If you want to make your own vegan fig bars at home, you can try the following recipes:
- Vegan Fig Newtons by It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Here is a healthier version of vegan fig bars:
- Old Fashioned Vegan Fig Newtons by PlantPure Nation
If you are concerned about how sugar is processed, make sure you use sugar that is organic or certified vegan.
So, are Fig Newtons vegan?
If you are a strict vegan, Fig Newtons are not vegan.
But many vegans are okay with bone char-filtered sugar and the other ingredients explained above. In that case, you can enjoy Fig Newtons!