Are Gardettos Vegan?
A good crunchy snack with refreshing fruit juice is always irresistible. One of the most popular snacks in our culture is Gardettos and as always, we want to explore the question, “Are Gardettos vegan?”
For the most part, the disappointing answer is no, Gardettos are not vegan although it is a raging topic in the vegan community. For instance, many people claim that Gardettos Original, Reduced Fat Original, and Deli Style Mustard are vegan based on the absence of dairy and eggs in their ingredients. On another hand, others oppose Gardettos from Italy that contains cheese, which is a dairy component and thus not vegan.
Well of course when assessing products with multi-variant ingredients; we may tend to have different answers for different categories of the same product.
However, as a knowledge-driven platform we cannot just merely say no and end there we have to bring forward our arguments on the matter and also ultimately give a vegan way around the issue.
What are Gardettos?
The first thing we need to establish is what Gardettos are and how they are made in order to justify the above response and allow you to judge for yourself.
Gardettos are a brand of snacks founded by the Gardetto family’s bakery in 1932 but were later acquired in 1999 by General Mills.
The recipe, as is stated on the packaging was made by Judy Gardetto. By mixing breadsticks with varieties of different snacks, sprinkled with a little seasoning she made a household brand that would seep into other generations.
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However over time, the original recipe had multiple adjustments as flavors, trends, and business interests got into the mix. This article is thus based on the current ingredients.
We can only judge how vegan anything is based on its ingredients. A lot of factors come into play such as the environmental impact and the effect on animals and other living organisms. However, we also must acknowledge that Gardettos come in various types.
How many types of Gardettos exist?
These are the Gardetto’s varieties you’ll find:
- Gardetto’s Original
- Gardetto’s Reduced Fat Original
- Gardetto’s Garlic Rye Chips
- Gardetto’s Deli Style Mustard
The Controversy around the Gardettos and veganism
Gardetto’s original includes the following in its ingredients:
- Vegetable oil
- Enriched flour
- Rye flour
- Corn syrup
- Baking soda
- Onion powder
- Worcestershire sauce
The last ingredient stated there (Worcestershire sauce) is the most controversial of the ingredients in the vegan society. We have to explore why?
Is The Worcestershire sauce vegan Or Not?
To conclude the answer in one sentence, Worcestershire sauce is from an animal source and is automatically not vegan before we go any further. It is taken from the Anchovies fish. This means that a lot of fish yearly face the cruelty of losing their lives for the purpose of the sauce to be created regardless of the percentage used.
I tried to go through their official website generalmills.com, but didn’t found any reliable information about Worcestershire but was able to found this screenshot on Reddit consisting of a reply from general mills that Worcestershire is not vegan.
Clearly, Worcestershire sauce has a negative effect on marine ecosystems. When fishing nets are abandoned after they are old, they pollute the oceans and other water bodies causing disease and death of many other water-based species. Corals and sponges are adversely affected by fishing.
Anchovies lose their lives. In addition, they are restricted in confined spaces to feed on other sea species. This means that billions of other fish are caught in order to feed them. Objectively, humans sacrifice a large population of sea life to produce a kilogram of Worcestershire sauce.
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A lot of other animals are accidentally caught in fishing nets by the way. Whether it is dolphins, sea birds, protected fish, or sea turtles, it is not a game.
Needless to say, it is not even good for the laborers at all. They are at risk of many injuries and accidents that may lead to death. Reportedly, about 20% of workers have been injured on the job. It would be also interesting to note that 50% of the workers are trafficked. These injuries include lost fingers, broken, bones, cuts and bruises, electrocutions, head injuries, and many other gruesome injuries that ultimately have led to death.
Now many may say, “They made a choice” but if we are objective and if we can have a heart about the cruelty and exploitation of animals then we should certainly have a heart for other human beings. These are human beings, exploited through politics, the economics of the system, and lack of knowledge.
A strict vegan can never thus support the use of Worcestershire sauce. It is not vegan and if Gardettos are willing to include it how can they be vegan?
Can Vegan Worcestershire Sauce Make A difference?
We have seen many in the vegan community come up with substitutes for Worcestershire sauce. Some of the most common ingredients include Apple cider vinegar, black pepper, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, allspice, garlic powder, and soy sauce.
However, if this is a substitute one has to make it at home. It does not mitigate the damage already done by the sauce that comes with the package.
After all, the anchovies fish and other marine species will still face their fate, regardless of anyone’s replacement of ingredients. This will hold true until the company that makes the product decides to do away with Worcestershire sauce. Till then, it will remain on the non-vegan list.
Should Gardettos Make A Vegan Product?
We all hope that every company on the planet would have a moral obligation to look at the impact of their production on the ecology of this world. What does it profit man-kind to gain profit and lose the planet?
In the information age, big corporations are compelled to do better as far as creating a cruelty-free, green and sustainable utopia.
Veganism is one of the most sustainable lifestyles that can end world hunger whilst making the planet pleasant for other sentient species besides humans.
We all have a moral obligation to work toward a future where there is balance in the ecosystem. It is not only good for us but all creatures on the face of this beautiful planet.
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