Are Golden Oreos Vegan? Controversial Ingredients Explained

Golden Oreos are vegan as they don’t have any animal-derived ingredients. However, many vegans avoid eating Golden Oreos because they contain controversial ingredients like sugar, palm oil, and artificial flavors.

Golden Oreos because it has controversial ingredients like sugar, palm oil, and artificial flavors

Golden Oreo Ingredients

All Golden Oreo varieties have the following ingredients.

Unbleached Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate {vitamin B1}, Riboflavin {Vitamin B2}, Folic Acid), Sugar, Palm And/or Canola Oil, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Salt, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Artificial, and Natural Flavor.

Controversial Ingredients in Golden Oreos


Mondelez International, the owner of Oreo, has not specified the origin of sugar. It is likely that they are using refined sugar in their cookies. Refined sugar is processed using animal bone char, which is used to remove impurities from the sugar. Hence, it is up to you to decide if you are okay with eating sugar processed with bone char.

Palm Oil

Palm oil is technically vegan, but its farming has damaged the environment and natural habitat of many animals. On the contrary, palm oil is vegan if it is ethically farmed and sourced from sustainable sources. The good news for vegans is that Mondelez International sources all its palm oil ethically and from sustainable farms. The company started working on this in 2014, and all of its palm oil is now sourced ethically, making it 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

Artificial/Natural Flavors

The issue with artificial and natural flavors is that they may or may not be vegan. You cannot be 100% sure unless explicitly stated by the manufacturer, and in Oreo’s case, it is not.

According to FDA’s official definitions, natural flavors may or may not be vegan whereas artificial flavors are man-made. Artificial flavors are not derived from a living thing including plants and animals or animal-derived products like eggs, dairy or honey. The catch here is that artificial flavors aren’t cruelty-free, as it is required by law to test artificial flavors on animals before being consumed by humans.

Verdict: Palm oil in Golden Oreos is vegan, but you can’t say the same about sugar and artificial flavors. You can write and ask Mondelez International about the source of these ingredients. Overall, it is your personal choice to eat Golden Oreos. Many vegans eat it, and some don’t.

Vegan and non-vegan Oreos are made using the same equipment. There is a high risk of cross-contamination in such products.

Moreover, some strict vegans don’t eat vegan products from companies that manufacture non-vegan products. Mondelez International is a big brand and produces many non-vegan products.

Do Golden Oreos have Dairy?

Many vegans would simply not touch Golden Oreos because of the packaging design. It shows a cookie splashing milk (this is what it looks like). Plus, Oreos are often advertised with a glass of milk. On the contrary, Golden Oreos are dairy-free. They do not have milk or milk products, whey, casein, lactose, or other milk-derived ingredients.

any other milk-derived ingredients

Are Golden Oreos Gluten-Free?

No. Golden Oreos aren’t gluten-free. It contains wheat flour as a main ingredient. You can have Oreo gluten-free cookies if you are allergic to gluten.

Are Golden Oreo Thins, Mini, and Double Stuff Vegan?

All these varieties have the same ingredients as regular Golden Oreos. They are vegan but with controversial ingredients like sugar, palm oil, and flavors.

They are vegan but with controversial ingredients like sugar, palm oil, and flavors

Are Gluten-Free Oreos Vegan?

Gluten-free Oreos are vegan but come with sugar, palm oil, and artificial flavors. It is up to you to decide if you are okay with these controversial ingredients.

Are Mint Oreos Vegan?

Yes. They are vegan but contain controversial ingredients like palm oil, sugar, and artificial flavors.

Are Birthday Cake Oreos Vegan?

They are free from animal-derived ingredients, making them vegan. However, you cannot be sure about all the ingredients because Oreo has not specified the source of sugar, palm oil, and flavorings.

Are Lemon Oreos Vegan?

Lemon Oreos are vegan but with controversial ingredients like flavors, sugar, and palm oil.

Are Fried Oreos Vegan?

It depends on how you fry them and use which Oreo Variety. Most Oreos are vegan, but you must check the ingredients. Moreover, you must all use all vegan ingredients to fry them.


  • Andy Nevers

    Andy Nevers, the founder of VeganPros and GBB is a strong advocate for the plant-based movement. After going vegan a few years ago, Andy has set out on a mission to help make the world a healthier place.

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