Things that make you go, “WTF?”

This might be a bit of bad news for vegetarians, vegans, and those who like transparency in the food industry. The bad/weird/slightly disturbing news I bring you today is about sugar, and whether or not it has come into contact with bone char…as in ground up cow bones. MmmmmK?

So, if you only consume beet sugar, organic white, organic brown, organic powdered sugar, or 100% organic products that contain sugar; great news! You can stop reading. Your sugar is bone char free. If you do not fall into one of these categories (99.9% of people), you have consumed sugar that has come into contact with bone char.

What is bone char? It’s (primarily) cow bones that have been heated (charred) in a low oxygen vessel which leaves activated carbon. Too much oxygen will yield ash (and that would just be gross, right?).

What does this mean? To make sugar, sugar cane stalks are crushed to separate the juice from the pulp. The juice is then processed and heated to crystalize, and is then filtered. For non-organic sugars, the sugar crystals are filtered through bone char, which results in sugar’s pure white color.  This is why you may wonder why Sugar in the Raw is so much darker. So, while you’re not actually eating bone, each little sugar crystal has come into contact with it. For strict vegetarians and for vegans, this is probably not making your heart sing.

So, once again….stick with organic. But, when consuming the classic processed foods that we love so much, just know what you’re getting. You may have seen wine, beer, and juice with a, “vegan,” label…this is why!

                    Bone Char-Free Sugars Produced By U.S. Companies

Company Brand Name
C&H Sugar C&H Pure Cane Washed Raw Sugar
C&H Pure Cane Certified Organic Sugar
Cumberland Packing Company Sugar in the Raw
Domino Sugar Domino Demerara Washed Raw Cane Sugar
Domino Pure Cane Certified Organic Sugar
Florida Crystals Florida Crystals Demerara Natural Sugar
Organic Evaporated Cane Juice (granulated and powdered)
Golden Granulated Evaporated Cane Juice
Florida Crystals Milled Cane Natural Sugar
Florida Crystals Certified Organic Natural Sugar
Great Eastern Sun Sweet Cloud Organic Raw Cane Sugar
Hain Celestial Group Hain Organic Brown Sugar
Hain Organic Powdered Sugar
Shady Maple Farms Shady Maple Farms Granulated Maple Sugar
Tropical Traditions Rapadura Whole Organic Sugar
Wholesome Sweeteners Light Muscovado Sugar
Dark Muscovado Sugar
Sucanat (granulated and powdered)
Organic Sucanat (granulated and powdered)
NOTE: 100% Pure Beet Sugar is not passed through a bone char filter.

***Look for bone char to be labeled as, “natural charcoal”….Domino Foods and the C&H Sugar Company both use this trickery. ***


If you’re looking for vegan marshmallows, made with non bone char sugar, buy Dandies. You can purchase through Amazon, iHerb, WalMart, and Vitacost (just Google it- lots of options). I stock up on Vitacost (when they’re in stock), and keep them in the freezer.


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