Quick Answer: No Lucky Charms are not vegan because of the marshmallows. These contain gelatin which is an animal product.
Let's explore the ingredients and see exactly what we're dealing with.
*Check out this vegan cereal list to find some other breakfast options!
Ingredients in Lucky Charms
ingredients: WHOLE GRAIN OATS, SUGAR, OAT FLOUR, CORN SYRUP, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CORN STARCH, DEXTROSE, SALT, GELATIN, TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE, CANOLA OIL, YELLOWS 5 & 6, RED 40, BLUE 1 OTHER COLOR ADDED, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. VITAMIN E (MIXED TOCOPHEROLS) ADDED TO PRESERVE FRESHNESS. VITAMINS AND MINERALS: CALCIUM CARBONATE, ZINC AND IRON (MINERAL NUTRIENTS), VITAMIN C (SODIUM ASCORBATE), A B VITAMIN (NIACINAMIDE), VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), VITAMIN A (PALMITATE), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN MONONITRATE), A B VITAMIN (FOLIC ACID), VITAMIN B12, VITAMIN D3.
As you can see, gelatin is one of the ingredients in the marshmallow portion of this cereal. This completely eliminates it from being vegan-friendly.
Being that the second ingredient is sugar and the fourth one is corn syrup, it's also not the healthiest option for breakfast.
If you want to be on a vegan lifestyle long term it's important that you take care of your health (without being too restrictive, or you're going to be likely to give it up.
More On Gelatin
Gelatin is produced by boiling animal parts such as tissue, bone and skin. The idea is to extract the collagen which is what give sit the jelly-like texture.
Here's a brief overview about how it's made. I won't go into too many of the scientific details, but it's just so you get an idea...
- The collagen-rich animal part is soaked in acid and warmed.
- A centrifuge removes the fat and unwanted components from the first step.
- It is then filtered to purify the gelatin and remove any other impurities that are left-over.
- The waters and salt are removed through more filtration and evaporation.
- It's heated and pressed through a die which makes it into noodle-like strands that are eventually broken down into the powder which is used for jello and in other products like Lucky Charms.