The eating guide for vegans is quite complicated. There are some ingredients which many people find it difficult to determine if it is suitable for a vegan diet or not. One of these ingredients is yeast. Some people think it is vegan while some argue that it is now. So, can vegans eat yeast?
By determining if the yeast is vegan, it will be easier for us to determine if we are allowed to eat some types of bread or drink certain types of alcoholic drinks. Well, there are lots of things that we should take into consideration before we can answer that and we are going to tackle all of that in this article.
What Is Yeast?
To be able for us to identify if the yeast is vegan, we must first answer this question. Yeast is a single-celled organism that is considered by the experts as fungi. Coming from this class, the yeast is often associated with other types of fungi that are used in the food industry such as mushrooms.
This organism thrives on moisture, warmth, and food. It mainly feeds on starch and sugar, and it has the ability to convert its food into carbon dioxide and alcohol through fermentation.
Because of the carbon dioxide byproduct, yeast is used to make baked goods rise. And because of its alcohol byproduct, it is also the organism used in fermenting alcoholic beverages.
Baker’s Yeast Vs. Nutritional Yeast Vs. Brewer’s Yeast: What Are Their Differences?
There are three types of yeast that you can take advantage of. These, are as follows:
This type of yeast is manufactured by drying the fungi at low temperatures to prevent the yeast from being killed. The types of yeast that are used for creating this ingredient may vary. The most common ones used are Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus sanfrancisco, and Candida milleri.
Baker’s yeast is used as a leavening agent for bread and other types of baked goodies.
This is the byproduct of brewing beer and is made from the pulverized cells of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This is done by drying the pulverized cells at high temperatures.
This type of yeast is bitter in taste but is normally used as a supplement as it is a rich source of amino acids, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, amino acids, and chromium.
This type of yeast is particularly grown to be a nutritional supplement. Nutritional yeast usually comes in two forms-powder or flakes. Instead of obtaining it as a byproduct of fermentation, the yeast is grown in molasses, which gives it that cheesy, nutty and sweet taste.
Just like the brewer’s yeast, this type of yeast is manufactured by drying Saccharomyces cerevisiae at high temperatures, killing them. And the same with brewer’s yeast, it is a good source of various vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. There are also some manufacturers who add vitamin B 12 to their nutritional yeast products because that is one B vitamin that it does not contain.
Another difference is that Brewer’s yeast contains more potassium, magnesium, and chromium than this type of yeast.
Can Vegans Eat Yeast?
Now, we get to answer the biggest question of all-can vegans eat yeast? This is an interesting question, and many people who are asking this may consider yeast as a living organism (that’s why we need to deactivate them in making brewer’s and nutritional yeast, right?).
While that may be true, you need to consider that veganism is practiced to spare animals and other living organisms from pain and suffering. With that in mind, yeast does not have a nervous system and are therefore considered to be sentient, meaning they will never experience pain and suffering even if they are killed. In short, we can consider yeast to be vegan-friendly.
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Can vegans eat yeast? This has been the topic of many debates between vegans and non vegans. Keep in mind that the vegan lifestyle is practiced in an effort to protect animals from pain and suffering that they experience when they are harvested for food.
But unlike these animals, yeast does not have a central nervous system and therefore, cannot feel the pain and suffering that we are talking about. With that in mind, we can say that yeast is perfectly safe for vegans and that vegans can eat products that contain yeast.