In this short post, we’re going to get into the vegan status of everyone’s favorite sweet and chunky condiment – relish. So let’s get right to it…
Is Relish Vegan?
Yes! The most versions of relish are totally vegan unless they contain honey which is highly unlikely. You’ll find that most store-bought brands are simply chopped up cucumbers with sugar, spices and flavorings.
So if you’re thinking about having a vegan hot dog, feel free to load it up with the ever so popular relish and ketchup combo.
If you were wondering about ketchup, check out the other post we did below…
Ingredients in Relish
Let’s have a closer look at some of the ingredients in relish to learn more about their vegan status. For this example, we’ll take Heinz Sweet Relish (which doesn’t have the cleanest of ingredient statements)…
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Distilled White Vinegar
- Salt, Guar Gum
- Aluminum Sulfate
- Xanthan Gum
- Potassium Sorbate And Sodium Benzoate (As Preservatives)
- Dried Red Bell Peppers
- Natural And Artificial Flavors
- Polysorbate 80
- Fd&C Yellow No. 5
- Fd&C Blue No. 1.
As you can see, there aren’t any animal products in the ingredients that are blatantly labeled.
Yes, there are artificial colors and preservatives (which some vegans have qualms about), but I personally wouldn’t worry about it.
Unless a label has meat, milk, eggs, or another animal product it’s not worth stressing over.
Because being vegan is about reducing the harm to animals in a way that’s simple, easy to follow and easy to understand. I believe that most people are turned off when it appears to be complicated and in an ideal world we need more people to be vegan!
Just avoid any labeled animal products (including stuff like gelatin) and you’re already doing 99.9% more than most people. Trying to get in the extra 0.01% can do more harm than good in spreading the vegan message.
But if you want to avoid these types of ingredients, there’s always cleaner versions of relish that you can pick up with much simpler ingredient statements.
So is relish vegan? I say the answer is yes. Keep on the lookout for versions with cleaner ingredient statements, but don’t feel bad about enjoying the mainstream brands in a pinch.
Read our guide on Tapatio hot sauce next….
Or read more about horseradish…