Let’s be honest, popcorn is a fantastic snack, but is popcorn vegan?
Popcorn itself is entirely vegan. After all, popcorn is simply popped corn, as the name implies, although it’s not that simple. There are many different flavors of popcorn, from many different brands. Because of that, many of these new and exciting flavors are often not vegan. Many are filled with hidden animal products, in ingredients such as “natural flavor,” which is mostly not vegan. Thus, vegans need to take extra care when choosing the perfect popcorn. Although, it’s easy to choose vegan popcorn if you know what to look out for.
That’s awesome news for any vegans asking themselves; is vegan popcorn? They might be, but there are still many things to be aware of. Read along and learn how to choose popcorn that will satisfy your cravings!
Is Popcorn Vegan?
When you’re following a vegan diet, finding foods to include on your diet can be a challenge. Many people find that it’s easiest to follow a whole-food diet and make many of their foods themselves. Popcorn is an excellent food for vegans since it is naturally a vegan option.
As its name suggests, popcorn is actually a type of corn. When heated, it expands, forming the snack food that we know as popcorn. This food is a whole grain and is a vegan-friendly snack as it contains no animal products naturally. You can make your own popcorn at home. Either on the stove top or with the use of an air popper, popcorn is easy to make and rich in heart-healthy fiber as well.
The only time that popcorn may not be vegan is if it contains flavorings that are not vegan-friendly. For example, you may purchase popcorn that is pre-popped and seasoned with a barbecue seasoning. This may include some type of animal product in the flavoring. Also, if you read the label of popcorn and it contains unspecified “natural flavors,” these may contain animal products in a small amount. Popcorn flavorings can also contain butter or other dairy products used to flavor the snack.
Is Plain Popcorn Vegan?
If you pop your own popcorn at home and add only your own seasonings, you can be assured that this is a vegan snack. Although it’s essential that you read the ingredients carefully if you buy pre-propped popcorn. Look for natural flavors or other non-specified ingredients that like.
Butter is a common ingredient to add flavor and promote the seasoning sticking to the popped kernels. As you know, that makes it non-vegan. If you’re unsure of whether or not a popcorn is vegan-friendly, pop your own at home (without any pre-seasoning). This is a naturally vegan food and a tasty snack option to keep on hand.
Is movie theater popcorn vegan?
Wether or not movie theater popcorn is vegan depends highly on the individual chain. That’s because they use different ingredients, and these can vary largely from theater to theater. Some are entirely vegan, and some even have vegan butter topping.
AMC Theaters had this once, and many probably still have today. Although it’s difficult to predict if your local movie theater has these vegan options. Regal Entertainment Group is another movie theater with vegan popcorn. Or at least they have in some locations.
I recommend that you always call the movie theater before buying tickets, and make sure if vegan options are available. Also, remember that even though a specific movie theater in a chain has vegan popcorn, does not mean all in that chain are.
Is Popcorn Seasoning Vegan
Seasoning and spices on otherwise plain foods are often a danger-zone for vegans. A snack like popcorn is usually much more natural than others. After all, it’s simply popped corn, which is vegan. Although many seasonings and flavors on popcorn are not.
Maybe the most frustrating thing about this question is that there’s no simple answer. That’s because ingredients in these seasonings differ. Not only from different tastes, but the same flavor can have wildly different ingredients.
Butter popcorn is very popular and available almost everywhere. That’s a popcorn flavor which is generally considered non-vegan, and with good reason. The flavor is butter, so you think it’s not vegan. Although ingredients differ so wildly that even flavors you consider non-vegan, can be vegan. Click here to see an example of vegan popcorn butter.
Popcorn with butter flavors is sometimes vegan, despite the name. On the other hand, a pure flavor like salt can be non-vegan due to hidden ingredients like animal enzymes.
Determine If Popcorn Is Vegan
There’s no simple answer to the question is popcorn vegan. It depends on the individual ingredients, nothing else. This means that you need to either read the ingredient yourself or otherwise ask the company.
Steps to Determine If Popcorn Is Vegan
- Read Ingredients list
- Ask popcorn brand or company
- Call movie theater before coming
- Steer clear of unspecified ingredients (Natural flavor, etc.)
- Buy simple flavors
- Still not sure? Choose something else
In some cases, it’s not possible to check the ingredients yourself. That’s most often at the movie theater or popcorn stands. When buying from either of these places, it’s essential to ask whether or not it’s vegan. Although, the employees don’t always know, which means you need to either take a chance or choose another vegan snack.
Is Popcorn Vegetarian?
For many people who follow a vegetarian diet, popcorn seems like a quick and affordable option. In most cases, popcorn is and should be vegetarian food. Popcorn is derived from a plant and can even be grown on your own property if you want to try your hand at gardening. You may purchase popcorn in a variety of forms. The plain unpopped kernels can be found easily. You can also find the microwave options or the pre-popped and flavored or seasoned popcorn at your local grocery store.
If the popcorn is plain or only seasoned with salt, then it will be a safe choice for vegetarians. Although If the popcorn contains other additives or seasonings, then it may not be vegetarian-friendly. If you follow a vegetarian diet where you include eggs and dairy but no meat products, then you will probably be able to find most popcorns to be vegetarian. In some cases, animal products may be used to flavor the snack.
If you’re purchasing a pre-popped popcorn, make sure that you read the label carefully. It may contain some type of animal product, even disguised as a natural flavor. When in doubt, talk to the manufacturer before purchasing.
Now you know how to choose the right vegan options for your popcorn. I have been vegan for some time, and this is my opinion on the popcorn dilemma. I know it’s annoying that you have to go through this process all the time. Although, after a little time, you will be very familiar with which brands are vegan, as well as, which movie theaters have vegan popcorn. I hope this helped you. Good luck with your popcorn adventure!
Hey, I’m Gus! I have been vegan for quite some years now, and have collected a lot of knowledge about the subject in this time. My goal with this blog is to spread the vegan message and make it easy to know exactly what’s vegan and what’s not.