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Can vegans eat bread and here is what you need to know

A common question I have seen posed by people new to veganism or those curious in a plant based diet is “Can vegans eat bread?”.

The quick answer to this question is yes but some breads are vegan and some aren't lets find out

What about Yeast

Basic simple bread only contains 4 ingredients, flour, water, salt and yeast.  The flour, water and salt are all definitely vegan but what about “yeast”.  Is yeast a living organism that would be considered un-vegan to consume?

Yeast is what is used to help the bread rise and is actually part of the fungi kingdom.  Other organisms classified as fungi are mushrooms and mould.  Fungi are non sentient organisms that cannot experience distress or pain and are hence fine to consume on a vegan diet.

There are some types of bread however that contain more than those basic 4 ingredients.

Non-vegan ingredients

Non-vegan ingredients that may be added to bread include eggs, butter, milk yoghurt and honey.  Naan bread will often contain dairy in the form of milk or yoghurt.  Gluten free bread will very commonly contain egg white powder but there are vegan versions available.

There is also bread that is fortified with omega free and this will most commonly be sourced from fish so needs to be avoided.

For the most part simply reading the ingredient list will let you know if the bread is vegan or not.  Be aware however that ingredients sourced from dairy can be called Whey, Casein, Caseinate and Sodium Caseinate.

There are also food additives that may be on the ingredient list that only give a number and do not tell you exactly what they are.  An example of an additive that may not be vegan is the emulsifier lecithin.  While it is normally derived from soy it can also come from egg yolk.  A good source for information on food additives is on the veganeasy website.  https://www.veganeasy.org/food/food-additives/

Phone App

To double check if bread is vegan you can get an app for your phone that lets you scan the barcode and will tell you if it is vegan or not.  An example of this is the “fussy vegan” app.  https://www.fussyvegan.com.au/

If you are still uncertain you can google the product online or contact the product manufacturer.

Conclusion

Overall however if you are buying a basic non gluten bread product it will have few ingredients, they will be listed on the package, and you can easily determine if it is vegan.

When you go vegan you certainly do not have to give up the bread products you know and love.

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