Are McDonald’s Fries Vegan? The Answer May Surprise You

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McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest fast-food chains, with locations in different countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom.

Fans of McDonald’s often wonder if they can enjoy their famous fries while sticking to a vegan or vegetarian diet. So, Are McDonald’s Fries Vegan? Well, the answer is – yes and no.

Are McDonald’s Fries Vegan? The Answer May Surprise You

Whether or not McDonald’s Fries are considered vegan depends on the location of where the McDonald’s you are visiting is located.

According to the McDonald’s website, their fries are cooked in a non-hydrogenated blend of sunflower and rapeseed oil in the UK and Ireland.

This means that in these countries, the fries are in fact, considered vegan.

In fact, the website says:

McDonald’s UK French Fries are made by McCain’s using Russet Burbank, Pentland Dell and Shepody potatoes, which are chosen for their quality, taste and long shape when cut. The fries are not coated in any fats or substances from an animal. Once at the restaurant, our fries are simply cooked in dedicated frying vats in a non-hydrogenated blend of sunflower and rapeseed oil which is 100 percent suitable for vegans.

McDonald’s fries in the United States and European countries are not vegan. The reason? They are cooked in vegetable oil that contains natural beef flavoring, which is derived from beef fat.

And honestly, you sort of have to hunt for that information.

This means that animal products are used in the cooking process, making the fries unsuitable for vegans.

At first glance, the McDonald’s website describes the fries as:

Our World Famous Fries® are made from quality potatoes, including Russet Burbank, Ranger Russet, Umatilla Russet and the Shepody. The suppliers we work with first peel, cut and blanche the potatoes. They then dry, partially fry and quickly freeze the fries for our restaurants. Once in our kitchens, we cook them in our canola-blend oil so you can have them crispy and hot—just the way you like them

See how they say “canola-blend oil”? Well, that blend actually contains beef flavoring too.

It’s not until you dig into their FAQ or take a look at the actual ingredients that you notice it…

See above how it says “natural beef flavor” in the ingredients?

Right on the McDonald’s website under their FAQ it says:

Do you add any type of flavor when preparing your fries?

Yes. When our suppliers partially fry our cut potatoes, they use an oil blend that contains beef flavoring. This ensures the great-tasting and recognizable flavor we all love from our World Famous Fries®. The fries are cooked in our kitchens, seasoned with salt, and served hot to you.

So, overall McDonald’s fries are not technically vegan-friendly but they are suitable for most vegetarians.

If you’re a vegan, you may want to consider the cooking process and different ingredients used in the fries. However, McDonald’s has been making strides towards catering to their vegan and vegetarian customers, and we may see more plant-based alternatives in the near future.

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