As a vegan, it is normal that you are confused about the products in the market. Our market has not developed consciousness over animal cruelty. So we see the animal-derived product in things that are not needed in there. Or those products don’t seem to be the animal-derived product.
But we must look closely at the things we consume. While using cocoa powder in your vegan cake you might question that is cocoa powder vegan. Here is a detailed answer to it, so you know better.
What is cocoa powder?
Cocoa powder is a product that comes from cacao beans. The beans are like fruit and the pulp is collected and fermented. Then the fermented beans are sun-dried and roasted. Then the cocoa powder comes into its form when those roasted cacao beans are grounded. It’s a very complex process.
The tropical region of the equator produces the most cocoa powder. Cacao beans require very specific care for this delicious thing to grow.
Is cocoa powder vegan?
The chocolate liquor turns into cocoa butter and leaves a dry paste. That paste is dried well and processed as cocoa powder. The entire process does not require any animal-derived product. It does not even contain any sugar in it.
That is why cocoa powder is vegan. The pure one that contains nothing other than cocoa powder is vegan. Some hot chocolate includes dried milk in it.
But some factories make cocoa powder with the same machine that processes eggs, milk, and nuts. So it may contain traces of these things and you don’t want that. Check the back of the product if its 100% vegan-friendly product or not.
Making 100% of vegan food is a great commitment that only vegans can commit to it. But there are not enough vegans who can invest in such a big industry. So you have to rely on the back of the product to see if the product you are buying is vegan or not.
Should vegans buy fair trade cocoa?
Just because there was no animal product in your food does not mean that animal cruelty does not exist. Animal cruelty is not just eating them. It’s about how they were treated by making that product. Or just any cruelty to humans or animals will keep vegans away from buying that product.
If you are a vegan for ethical reasons, you know that there is child labor involved in making cocoa. And very famous companies are doing this. It goes against our ethics and we should not buy from them.
People promise children from Ghana a better life for them and their families to work in there. And ends up with hard-working a job that barely pays them. Children who should have books in their hands roam around the cacao farm with a chainsaw and a machete.
How do I know that my cocoa powder was ethically produced?
Latin America produced cocoa powder is free from child labor. They produce organic cocoa. So you can try cocoa powder from them.
Also, when you are buying cocoa powder, look for the words ‘fair-trade’, ‘slave-free’ and ‘organic’. It indicates the cocoa powder to be cruelty-free, and that includes free from animal products.
How fair trade helps farmers and children?
You don’t know how you will affect the lives of farmers and children when you care for fair trade cocoa powder. The people who do not follow the rules of fair trade pay only 60 cents to the workers per day.
And make children work in this dangerous situation. If you stop buying from them, they will be interested in fair trade. And to follow rules of fair trade they have to forget child labor and low payment. Only your awareness will stop cruelty towards people.
Caring about fair trade and animal cruelty will make the world a better place. But do not worry if you cannot afford a fair trade product.
Do not feel you cannot call yourself a vegan because you cannot contribute to the process. We are all a part of this process. It will get better gradually one day. I hope, now you know about if cocoa powder vegan or not.