As a new vegan, I’ve become consistent with the behavior of finding and reading the ingredients list on all my food products. The whole process has kind of become a game of animal products word search.
One of the many ingredients that caught my attention was yeast.
Before I did my research, all I knew about yeast was that it was used for baking and beer making.
As I took charge of my new cruelty-free, vegan lifestyle change, I knew I needed to know more about yeast. The question in mind I had:
Was it vegan?
So, I went to Google for a mini biology lesson.
Here’s what I found:
Is Yeast Vegan?
Yes, yeast is vegan. Yeast is a single-celled fungi that lacks a nervous system. This means a lack of a brain, spinal cord, sensory organs, and nerves that connect these parts to the body. That said, we can conclude that yeast is not conscious of and does not feel, perceive, or sense pain. Yeast is not a sentient being.
What Is Yeast?
Yeast, a single-celled fungus, is a common ingredient that bakers and beer & wine brewers use. In fact, there are over 1,000 strains of yeast that food and beverages producers can use today.
Some fungal foods you may be familiar with include mushrooms and cheese, while most beers are fermented with brewer’s yeast.
The most common type of yeast used in food production is called commercial yeast.
Commercial yeast, also known as cultured yeast or baker’s yeast, boasts impressive nutritional values.
Commercial yeast is 50 percent protein and is a rich source of vitamins B1, B2, niacin, and folic acid. Brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast can be eaten as a vitamin supplement.Source: Britannica
There are many other types of common yeast including baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, and nutritional yeast (aka nooch goodness). As it relates to vegans, they are all considered vegan-friendly ingredients.
The fact that they are living organisms has caused some confusion among the vegan community. Even non-vegans have shown interest in trying to understand the logic behind vegans consuming yeast.
My final thoughts on yeast being vegan:
Yes, yeast is a living organism. However, they do not have organs that would make them sentient beings. Since eating yeast does not cause it to feel, perceive, or think about it being in pain, yeast will remain in good standing as a cruelty-free ingredient.
If you have chosen a vegan lifestyle, what’s your stance on consuming yeast?
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Please note that these findings are consistent with the information available to me from my own research. Information published typically comes straight from a company source, study, scholarly article, and/or otherwise credible source. If you find incorrect information within any of my articles, please feel welcome to contact me with a trusted source to back your proposed update.