Monday, January 23, 2012

Top 10 Accidentally Vegan Junk Foods

As a vegan, my diet consists mostly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. I'm an advocate for eating local, unprocessed foods as much as possible, blah, blah, blah. That's all well and good. But sometimes, I've got to have snacks. Disgusting, over-processed, diabetes-inducing snacks. And thanks to Peta's list of brand-name products that are "accidentally vegan," now I know what my options are.

Below is my list of Top 10 junk foods that are, purely by accident, vegan-friendly.

10) Reese’s Peanut Butter Puffs
If I can’t have Reese’s peanut butter cups, I’ll settle for their slightly significantly less exciting younger cousin. In the realm of junk food parading as breakfast cereal - and it’s a surprisingly vast realm - Reese’s (Reese?) is the obese king.

9) Smartie’s
According to my British friends, there is a UK version of Smartie’s that is way more delicious than our version here in the US. Well, those aren’t vegan. Sure, our Smartie’s might not be all that delicious – they might even be the thanks-for-participating prize of choice at pretty much every elementary school spelling bee – but you know what they’re great for? Gluing to a piece of graph paper in color-coordinated rows to learn about fractions.

8) Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate (Double Chocolate)
The chocolate mocha and chocolate hazelnut versions are also accidentally vegan, but if I’m fancy enough to drink Ghirardelli hot chocolate (and snobby enough to pronounce it with a hard “g”), I think I can handle the double chocolate, thank you.

7) Big League Chew
Never mind that the last time I actually purchased a Big League Chew, it was from the snack shack at my middle school baseball field and I was wearing tube socks and Adidas Sambas. Back then, I had no qualms about shoving fistful after fistful of those gooey pick shreds into my mouth, then tipping the bag back and pouring in the rest, so the resulting wad of gum was nearly impossible to manage between my jaws. It's good to know I can relive that experience any time I want.

6) Wheat Thins
Wheat Thins are one of those snacks that you just barely convince yourself are healthy for you to eat an entire box of. They’re basically crackers. They have the word “wheat” in the title! Come on.

5) Fruit by the Foot
In the hierarchy of elementary school cafeteria snack trading, Fruit by the Foot is the bourgeoisie. You could trade up for a Fruit Roll-Up pretty easily (jokes on the wrapper, hello?!), but no way was I going to score a Fruit by the Foot in exchange for the low-fat cheese stick or apple my mom stuck me with.

4) Kellogg’s Unfrosted Poptarts
A lot of people think the best part of poptarts is the frosting. I disagree. I think the best part of poptarts is the goopy, slightly grainy, artificially flavored “fruit” filling that sticks to the roof of your mouth like napalm. Lucky for me, I can have it in fake brown sugar, fake blueberry, or fake strawberry form.

3) Nabisco Oreo Cookies
When I was a kid (and had traded shrewdly that day in the school cafeteria, duping some poor sap into exchanging his Oreos for my chewy granola bar), I used to enjoy Oreo cookies in the most disgusting way imaginable. I would use my front teeth to scrape the crème filling off, and then – rather than just swallowing it – I would collect it from behind my teeth and use my fingers to roll it into a little ball. That ball would grow as I added the filling from three to four cookies, discarding the chocolate cookie part as I went. Then I would pop the huge, spitty crème ball into my mouth and suck on it until it dissolved. I can’t wait to resume this enchanting little ritual as soon as I get my hands on some Oreos.

2) Swedish Fish
Yes! Swedish Fish are the best.

1) Sour Patch Kids
I never understood this snack. Am I really nomming on kid-shaped candies? And what is a sour patch? Is it like a vegetable patch, but instead of vegetables, it grows… sour? Do the candy kids live in the sour patch? How did they get so delicious?

The world may never know. But at least I know what to snack on as I ponder these questions.


  1. haha! I found this incredibly funny, especially the oreo cookie story. We all have 'special' stories like that from our childhood, props to you for sharing it!

  2. Also, sour patch kids commercials are really pretty odd. It turns out Sour Patch Kids really are mean to you and then smile at you and are then "nice." The overly simplified and unrealistic dichotomy there is disturbing!

    Also, I will never eat an oreo again without thinking of you. And am a little creeped out (but not REALLY surprised) that there's no real cream in their creme....

  3. Wait... how often does napalm get stuck on the roof of your mouth? And if this is a routine occurance for you, shouldn't you be at the doctor's office right now instead of bloghing?

  4. Haha! Napalm has (thankfully) never gotten stuck to the roof of my mouth. But, like napalm, the fake fruit filling in poptarts is sticky and burning.

  5. wait. oreos are vegan? this is a revelation. i guess I assumed the creme was, well, cream. not sure if this a win or a loss for veganism.

    great list!

  6. Because of a few different outreach events I did around Halloween, I learned that DOTS are vegan (and despite sticking to my teeth like there's no tomorrow, they're pretty good!).

  7. Agree! Sometimes I just gotta have swedish fish!

  8. That oreo cookie story is hilarious! I totally remember how you used to do that and you never even ate the cookies.

  9. I've seen you eat oreos like that!.... recently.

  10. Wait, #s 1 & 2 don't have gelatin? Why don't more chewy snacks lack gelatin? Score one for the kosher crowd too.

    And could I really comment on your blog using a LiveJournal?! That's sooooo 10 years ago.