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Do you avoid bone char sugar at all times (inc' middle of nowhere gas stations and at restaurants)?
Yes 4%  4%  [ 5 ]
No 96%  96%  [ 111 ]
Total votes : 116
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 Post subject: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:21 pm 
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I'm sure this has been discussed many times but I'm speaking about vegan travel at London Veg Fest next weekend and whilst I was crowdsourcing questions for the Q&A one came up that I'm not sure I know the answer to. Well, I know my answer but I wanted to see what other people thought.

Their Question - Sugar in America terrifies me. Apart from only eating organic what can we do to avoid bone char?

And now my questions:

Do you completely avoid bone char sugar in the same way you'd avoid milk or eggs?
If you make an effort to avoid food colourings, confectioners glaze and the bad vitamin D do you avoid bone char sugar all the time? (I'm that vegan and I do not choose to worry about bone char sugar when I'm in the US - I want to see if anyone's with me!)
Am I right in thinking that it's likely or at least possible that accidentally vegan snacks like Oreo's, Nutter Butters, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Ritz Crackers etc contain bone char sugar?

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:32 pm 
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I think bone char is also sometimes used to filter water as well. I don't worry about it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:37 pm 
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I buy organic evaporated cane juice for baking, etc... but I don't worry about the sugar in accidentally vegan junk food like oreos.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:44 pm 
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I don't worry about sugar processing and don't avoid added vitamin d in foodstuffs. I think the answer to their question, if they are 100% against the processing of the sugars, would be avoiding such things as oreos, etc because there's no way to verify every product.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:57 pm 
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My thought is, ignorance is bliss. I don't use processed sugar in cooking, but I don't scrutinize products that just say "sugar." Often if they just say "sugar" and not "CANE sugar," it could be beet sugar or a blend of both. Beet sugar is supposedly cheaper (but not available for home-kitchen use? why?). Yes, you could research every little thing. But that's no way to live. . just do what you can, I think.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:00 pm 
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I buy organic sugar for my home, but don't worry about it otherwise. For D3 and confectioner's glaze and other things like that, you can look at the food package and go 'yep, that's in there', but with sugar you would have to call each company and try to get an answer.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:24 pm 
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I don't avoid potentially bone char sugar-containing items (such as Oreos) but I do buy organic sugar because I bake for other vegans, and they might avoid bone char. I always avoid confectioner's glaze and D3, but I will buy things for personal use that contain unspecified vitamin D (but I will always verify if it will be consumed by other vegans).

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:01 pm 
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I'm with pretty much everyone. I buy organic and/or cane sugar when I buy sugar, but I don't sweat the unverifiable stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:05 pm 
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I buy non-bone refined for home buy don't worry about the unsavoury backgrounds in items with non-specified origins.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Yup. Same as everyone. I think it would be extremely difficult to eat out our buy any food in the us if I worried about bone char sugar. If a restaurant adds sugar to a sauce, it would be so hard to find out. I buy organic sugar, avoid the avoidable stuff. I feel like being terrified of sugar is kind of extreme.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:15 pm 
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I buy non-bone char sugar for home and don't buy products that have bone char sugar as far as I know, but I don't question restaurants about the source of their sugar.


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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:33 pm 
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I am all about veganism being accessible - its not going to make veganism accessible if we can never go out to eat or buy treats at a supermarket. So I would never judge anyone for not avoiding bone char sugar. I avoid consuming processed sugar (I am all about the fruit sweetened!), but when I cook at home for other vegans, its super easy to get vegan sugar at Whole Foods etc.

I wonder if the bones are a "by-product" which would otherwise end up in landfills or being wasted, or if animals are expressly slaughtered for them.
http://www.peta.org/about-peta/faq/are- ... ite-sugar/

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:36 pm 
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My understanding is that the bones used for char really are the last step in the chain, and if they weren't used in sugar they would probably be used as additives in cheap pet food.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:49 pm 
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What everyone else said. I buy definitely vegan sugar for home and eat whatever sugar out. I kind of think of bone char as the animal products that are in my tires and such. Close to unavoidable if living a a normal life.

I do avoid added Vitamin D and confectioner's glaze.


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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:09 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
I'm with pretty much everyone. I buy organic and/or cane sugar when I buy sugar, but I don't sweat the unverifiable stuff.


Yup, this! I do the best I can, but sometimes tracking down the source of sugar in something is like, at the bottom of a very long list of things I need to accomplish that day.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:31 pm 
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I don't actively seek to avoid bone char in any context. And I also think being "terrified" of American sugar is a bit overboard.


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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:39 pm 
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I'm confused that everyone is equating "organic" with vegan here. I only buy evaporated cane sugar because I assume organic may still be processed w/ bone char? But I don't worry about it in processed foods I buy or in restaurants, unless there's an obvious vegan alternative.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Jill wrote:
I'm confused that everyone is equating "organic" with vegan here. I only buy evaporated cane sugar because I assume organic may still be processed w/ bone char? But I don't worry about it in processed foods I buy or in restaurants, unless there's an obvious vegan alternative.

I think what I read years ago was that organic is de facto vegan because bone char filtration can't be used on certified organic sugar. I think this page talks about it: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2007issue4 ... _sugar.php

(I'm not an authority or anything. I do the same as what most people have said - vegan for home and when cooking for other vegans, don't sweat eating out or random unspecified sugar.)


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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:54 pm 
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Jill wrote:
I'm confused that everyone is equating "organic" with vegan here. I only buy evaporated cane sugar because I assume organic may still be processed w/ bone char?


Quote:
Since bone char is not on the National Organic Program's National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, certified USDA organic sugar cannot be filtered through bone char. In fact, the technical directors of both Imperial Sugar and American Sugar Refining told us that organic sugars are only milled and never go to the refinery where the bone char filters are located.


From here: http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2007issue4 ... _sugar.php

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:55 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:28 pm 
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I do the same as everyone else: buy vegan when possible and don't worry about it when it's unknown. I don't eat unspecified D or confectioner's glaze because they are much easier to spot and avoid.


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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:58 am 
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I don't avoid any kind of sugar. I also don't avoid D3 (especially as I am taking D3 supplements) nor confectioner's glaze.


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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:56 am 
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You can get vegan D3 nowadays! The brand I buy is Country Life. It's made from lichen.

I agree about buying organic sugar for home use and not freaking out about it when eating out. Not exactly the same as the sugar question, but I do try to only eat fair trade chocolate as much as possible so I don't end up eating many store bought sweets (I don't really see the point of sweets that don't contain chocolate).


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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:12 am 
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poopiebitch wrote:
I don't avoid potentially bone char sugar-containing items (such as Oreos) but I do buy organic sugar because I bake for other vegans, and they might avoid bone char.

Yeah I think people should definitely do this if they're selling something that is specifically made for vegans, but otherwise I couldn't give a fork.

As for other little things, I tend not to worry if I want to try a new product and it's not obvious, but check it out before making it a regular purchase. I guess if I were travelling I probably wouldn't be super fussed.

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 Post subject: Re: The Bone Char Sugar Issue
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:44 am 
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It's one of those things I don't think about. I mean, beet sugar is the standard here anyway, but even when I buy American products, I don't think about it.

I do avoid confectioner's glaze and D3 in products (but have taken it as a prescription).

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