I recently found out from a friend that Oreo cookies—yes, creamy, rich, Oreo cookies—are apparently vegan. Considering that cookies and icing aren't the first things that come to mind when thinking of animal product-free foods, I found it hard to believe that Oreos were completely trustworthy. I knew that they had a ton of delicious flavours and their baking possibilities were endless, but being vegan sounded too good to be true. I decided to do a little digging and find an answer to my questions.

The Results

It turns out that I didn't have to sleuth around the internet at all to figure this out. All I had to do was visit the Oreo website's FAQ and my questions were answered.

According to Oreo, their infamous cookies are vegan ... but not actually. Yes, their official website lists "unbleached enriched flour, sugar, palm, and/or canola oil, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup, leavening, cornstarch, salt, soy lecithin, vanillin, and unsweetened chocolate" as the cookie's only ingredients. One thing, however, makes Oreos a little less vegan than you've been led to believe.

Oreos have "cross contact" with milk, meaning that small amounts of milk may have come into contact with either the cookies or the equipment used to make them. Cross contact makes it impossible to guarantee that the delicious treat you consume doesn't contain trace amounts of milk.

Does It Really Matter?

I spilled the beans about Oreos to my vegan friend and she didn't seem that bothered by the dreadful news. She wasn't planning on stopping her Oreo consumption, either. I guess I see her point—it's not like eating an Oreo is the same as chugging a glass of milk. 

In the end, whether or not you consider Oreos vegan is up to you. If you read the cookie's ingredients, you won't see any dairy or other animal products listed. You might, however, be consuming microscopic amounts of milk, and if you're okay with that, you're no less vegan.