Miracle Whip is a popular Kraft Foods condiment sold throughout the US and Canada. It’s also sold throughout Germany by Mondelēz International (formerly Kraft Foods). A lot of vegans grew up eating the stuff and want to know if they have to give it up after switching to a 100% plant-based diet.
Is it vegan? Unfortunately, Miracle Whip is not considered vegan. It originated as a cheaper alternative to mayonnaise, another non-vegan condiment.1 As such, it contains much of the same ingredients making it off-limits for 100% plant-based eaters.
What we’ll do here is go over the various reasons Miracle Whip is off-limits to vegans. Then we’ll cover any vegan-friendly alternatives on the market.
Why Miracle Whip Is Non-Vegan
Miracle Whip Contains Egg
When making a less expensive version of mayo, manufacturers, unfortunately, didn’t omit the egg. In fact, looking at the ingredients, it’s not even clear why Miracle Whip would’ve been considered a cheaper product to produce.
It has all of the mayo ingredients and then some.
Egg is a favorite ingredient for use in dressings, sauces, and other emulsions. That’s because the yolk contains a compound known as lecithin. This compound, also present in soy and sunflower oils, is a natural emulsifying agent.
That’s just a fancy way of saying that it helps ingredients mix. It does this because one end of the molecule attracts water while the other is drawn to fat, thus helping ingredients mix together that would otherwise prefer to remain separate.2
Eggs help form homogenous solutions and are often used to stabilize and thicken foods like salad dressings, mayonnaise, hollandaise and béarnaise sauces, cakes, cream puffs, and even ice cream.3
Standard Miracle Whip Contains:4
- Liquids – soybean oil, water, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and vinegar
- Dry ingredients – salt, sugar, modified corn starch, mustard flour, spices, and dried garlic
- Additives – natural flavor and potassium sorbate
The low-fat version contains:5
- Liquids – water, vinegar, soybean oil, and HFCS
- Dry ingredients – modified food starch, sugar, spices, salt, mustard flour, paprika, and dried garlic
- Artificial sweeteners – sucralose and acesulfame potassium
- Additives – natural flavors, cellulose and xanthan gums, cellulose gel, and potassium sorbate (preservative)
Finally, the olive oil version contains:6
- Liquids – water, vinegar, olive oil, soybean and canola oils,
- Dry ingredients – sugar, modified food starch, salt, paprika, spices, mustard flour, garlic
- Egg yolks
- Additives – potassium sorbate and calcium disodium EDTA (flavor protection).
Vegans Don’t Eat Eggs
A lot of folks assume that vegans might be okay with eating eggs, in the event that the chickens are raised in a humane manner—i.e. chickens raised on free-range farms, or in one’s own backyard.
Secondly, a lot of people—especially newcomers to the subject of plant-based diets—assume that the vegan diet is primarily a health movement. Under this assumption, it seems quite reasonable that eggs could be consumed if you omit the yolk (the saturated fat and cholesterol-containing portion of the egg), or stuck to grass-fed eggs.
Both assumptions are false. While it’s true that many in the community are primarily concerned with health, the vegan diet is largely a political movement that focuses on abstaining or boycotting the commodification of animals in general.7-9
And vegans who follow the diet for strictly health reasons still avoid all animal products including dairy and eggs. If they considered eggs and dairy to be healthy, it’s likely they’d be following a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet—the form of vegetarianism that allows for the consumption of eggs, milk, cheeses, etc.
Vegan Miracle Whip Alternatives
The good news is that if you enjoy Miracle Whip, most mayonnaise substitutes actually resemble the taste of Miracle Whip more than actual mayonnaise. In fact, they’re usually not marketed as mayo, and are typically labeled as “dressings”.
You’ll notice that these dressings are a bit smoother and creamier than actual mayonnaise. In fact, I remember an ad campaign with members of Jersey Shore where the actor (I can’t remember who) compared Miracle Whip to a sweet-tasting skin lotion.
Mayo, on the other hand, is much more gelatinous and can even hold its shape when you scoop a dollop out of the jar.
Aside from being smoother than traditional mayo, Miracle Whip and other pseudo mayos are distinguished by their tangy after taste. These types of sandwich spreads tend to make heavy use of vinegar and sugar.
The same is true for lower-fat versions of traditional mayonnaise. Both vegan mayo and low-fat regular mayo tend to contain sugar and vinegar in the mix.
For this reason, vegan mayo brands such as Just Mayo and Follow Your Heart should suffice. You can always add a bit more sugar manually until you get the desired taste.
They may not be exactly the same, but, these products will at least provide you with the medium needed to get your Miracle Whip fix.
If you’re like me and too lazy to make your own, then you may want to check out Nasoya Vegan Nayowhipped Sandwich Spread.
This product contains:10
- Expeller pressed soybean oil
- Vinegar and lemon juice concentrate
- Dried cane syrup
- Salt, natural flavors, mustard flour, garlic powder, spices, paprika, and turmeric
- Xanthan and guar gums, sodium alginate
- Vitamin B12
That’s it for the vegan status of Miracle Whip. Thanks for reading.
You may also want to check out the following related articles:
- The Oxford Companion To American Food and Drink. https://books.google.com/books?id=AoWlCmNDA3QC&pg=PA370&dq=miracle+whip&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiql8_npcPJAhUS0GMKHWmFCysQ6AEIRDAG#v=onepage&q=miracle%20whip&f=false
- Anton M, and G Gandemer. Composition, solubility, and emulsifying properties of granules and plasma of egg yolk. Journal of Food Science 62(3):484–487, 1997.
- Understanding Food: Principles and Preparation (Page 254). Amy Brown – Wadsworth Cengage Learning – 2011
- Miracle Whip Original Dressing 30 Fl Oz Jar. https://www.myfoodandfamily.com/product/00021000026494/miracle-whip-original-dressing-30-fl-oz-jar
- Miracle Whip Light Dressing, 30 Fl Oz Jar. Mars- SueB- GreenDoor- NettaJ- Mikiladiane – https://www.walmart.com/ip/Miracle-Whip-Light-Dressing-30-fl-oz-Jar/14574585
- Kraft Miracle Whip Dressing Olive Oil. https://www.fooducate.com/product/Kraft%20Miracle%20Whip%20Dressing%20Olive%20Oil/7901AE74-6B90-11E2-89F9-1231381A4CEA
- Helena Pedersen, Vasile Staescu, “Conclusion: Future Directions for Critical Animal Studies”, in Nik Taylor, Richard Twine (eds.), The Rise of Critical Animal Studies: From the Margins to the Centre, Routledge, 2014 (262–276).
- Gary Steiner, Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, Columbia University Press, 2013, 206
- Gary Francione, “Animal Welfare, Happy Meat and Veganism as the Moral Baseline”, in David M. Kaplan, The Philosophy of Food, University of California Press, 2012 (169–189) 182.
- Nasoya Vegan Nayowhipped Sandwich Spread, 15.0 Fl Oz. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Nasoya-Vegan-Nayowhipped-Sandwich-Spread-15-0-FL-OZ/36335863