WHAT DOES A VEGAN CERTIFICATION MEAN?
Being vegan is a much more serious lifestyle choice than being vegetarian. Vegans not only avoid foods that contain animal products, but also avoid anything that may have had any contact with any animal products or by-products.
This includes contact made during product production or during the production of the individual ingredients. For vegans, it’s not only a matter of health, but also a matter of principles and conviction.
In addition to that, vegans refuse to use any animal by-product (not only food) that was created using animals (dead or alive), or even created by animals themselves, like silk and honey. Of course, products that use animal testing are also out of the question! All vegan products must be cruelty free and not tested on animals.
Since veganism is much more than an eating preference, it’s important to people following this lifestyle to be absolutely sure that all products he or she consumes is really free of everything and anything they are striving to avoid.
BENEFITS OF VEGANISM
There are a variety of benefits associated with veganism. A vegan, plant-based diet means you consume no animal fat, which could help you avoid a whole host of illnesses and health concerns.
Animal fats are linked to things like rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and even some cancers. When you reduce your animal fat consumption and switch to plant-based products, you reduce your risk for many of these diseases. Additionally, animal fats can be a vehicle for environmental toxins and chemicals that are known cancer-causing agents. Avoid the vehicle, avoid the cancer-causing agent.
A vegan and gluten free diet may help mitigate the risk of chronic diseases, especially things like type 2 diabetes and other health problems related to systemic inflammation. Vegetarian and vegan diets could even help to slow tumor growth!
It’s also thought that vegans may just live longer than their fellow carnivores. Red meat and processed meat in particular are well-known for possibly increasing your risks of early death and disease. Based on this, abstaining from these foods could increase your lifespan.
ITEMS THAT SHOULD TOP YOUR VEGAN GROCERY LIST
Legumes are loaded with protein, fiber, and other good-for-you bits of nutrition. Tofu and other non-meat substances that are minimally processed are also great to keep your protein up. Then of course, there’s seaweed, which is chock full of protein and other nutrients that a vegan needs to get and remain healthy.
Foods like plant-based organic milks and yogurts that are fortified with calcium are also important, plus seeds, nuts, and nut butters, hemp, chia and flax seeds, and even nutritional yeast. Each are great additions to add to your vegan food list before your next shopping spree.
WHY DO WE NEED VEGAN CERTIFICATION?
Vegan certification eliminates the need to scrutinize the ingredients list on every product you buy off the shelf. In fact, the list of ingredients may not even display all the information you need to make an educated choice. That’s where certified vegan products can help you as a consumer.
HOW DOES VEGAN CERTIFICATION WORK?
In the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, vegan certification is issued by the Vegan Awareness Foundation. The certification is, however, recognized worldwide.
The certification only pertains to individual products though, not to selections, (clothing) collections, manufacturers or companies. Any product carrying the vegan certified logo has been individually scrutinized, and found to be totally free not only of offensive ingredients, but also free of any association to animal products or animal cruelty.
A company wishing to display the certification logo has to submit detailed information about their product, including answering questions like:
- Which ingredients or raw products (such as silk or wool, which would be disqualified) are used during manufacturing?
- Does the manufacturing processes of those ingredients align with vegan standards?
- In the case of sugar, was it filtered using bone char, or not? If it was, the product is disqualified. If not, this needs to be verified. If the sugar was obtained from another manufacturer for use in a product, the original manufacturer has to verify the production process.
- Are any machines on the production line being shared? In other words, are any machines used for the production of both vegan and mainstream products?
If there is any doubt, the Vegan Awareness Foundation will do a physical on-site inspection of the production facility.
When product passes all the tests, the manufacturer is given permission to display the Vegan certified logo for a period of twelve months. After that, the review process starts all over again to ensure continuous quality control.
Keep in mind that if any manufacturing company changes owners, the vegan certification is not transferred to the new owners, regardless of how much time is left on the twelve month certification period. New ownership often brings change, so every product has to be re-submitted for approval.
Here at Munk Pack, we are proud to display the Certified Vegan logo on all of our ready-to-eat Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes and soft-baked Protein Cookies.