Sugar processed through cow or horse bones includes white sugar, confectioners sugar, packed brown sugar, and some fructose. The bones used come from cattle in countries like Argentina, India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The bones are sold to a second party who then sell them to the U.S. sugar industry. You may be wondering why the bones from U.S. cattle aren’t used instead of importing cattle bones from other countries. Cattle bones have to be imported because the FDA prohibits the use of U.S. cattle bones due to health concerns.
The cow and horse bones function as filters to the sugar and help it obtain that “bone” white look. This is an issue for vegetarians and vegans but non-vegetarians and non-vegans should also be concerned. Bones from diseased cows shouldn’t be used. The bones should come from animals that died from natural causes but there is not a system in place to monitor that. Supermarket sugar brands are supplied with sugar from several refineries, making it quite difficult to know if it was processed using bone char filters. The best way to know if a company uses bone char filters is to call them and ask. Using bone char filters is inexpensive and is for this reason, the prevailing method of refining sugar. The following list includes companies that DO NOT use bone-char filters.
2600 S. Euclid Ave.
Bay City, MI 48706
Florida Crystals Corporation
P.O. Box 471
West Palm Beach, FL 33480
SUPERVALU Corporate Headquarters
East View Innovation Center
7075 Flying Cloud Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Western Sugar is a subsidiary of Tate & Lyle (formerly Domino sugar) which does use bone-char filters. However, Western Sugar makes only beet sugar, which does not use bone-char filters.
7555 E. Hampton Ave., Ste. 600
Denver, CO 80210
Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Sugar
Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Light Brown Sugar
Wholesome Sweeteners Fair Trade Organic Dark Brown Sugar
Now Foods Beet Sugar
Trader Joe’s Organic Sugar Evaporated Cane Juice
Sugar In The Raw
Imperial Granulated Sugar
Imperial Powdered Sugar
Woodstock Farms Organic Pure Cane Sugar
Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar
Click here for more information on bone char sugar.
Click here for a list of companies that DO use bone char filters.