Tesco’s ‘non-vegan’ oranges are getting the supermarket into hot water

Did you know that even fruits can be non-vegan? Some Tesco customers found this out the hard way when it became known that their oranges are unsuitable for vegans.

Tesco’s ‘non-vegan’ oranges are getting it into hot water
© Bloomberg
Tesco’s ‘non-vegan’ oranges are getting it into hot water

As reported by The Independent, Tesco customers, especially vegans, were in for a rude shock when they discovered that the supermarket was labelling its oranges as ‘non-vegan’. Tesco confirmed on Sunday, August 21, that they had indeed been selling oranges unsuitable for vegans.

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While no one can be blamed for assuming that fruits can safely be considered vegan, apparently it is far from the truth.

How can oranges be non-vegan?

It turns out that beeswax, which is derived from bees, is used on the peels of citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges post-harvest. According to The Guardian, different waxes including beeswax are used on fruits like lemons, oranges and apples, to keep them fresh during transportation as well as to give them a shiny coating and slow down the loss of moisture.

Different waxes including beeswax is used on the peels of citrus fruit post-harvest Bloomberg

According to Healthline, beeswax is the waxy substance that honeybees produce and use to construct their hives. Beeswax is an ingredient in many commonly used products like lip balm, creams and candles. It is considered vegetarian since it does not contain any animal flesh. However, it is not vegan because it is harvested from bee hives.

The news about Tesco’s oranges has shocked vegans because many vegan dishes include citrus rind as an ingredient for flavouring or as a dressing. Also, many vegans may be intrinsically opposed to purchasing any kind of food that uses animal products.

Tesco’s response to the matter

According to the report by The Independent, Tesco has responded to the criticism by saying that they are 'seeking alternatives' to these non-vegan oranges.

Tesco is 'seeking alternatives' to non-vegan oranges  Alexander Spatari

This is not the first time Tesco is under fire for not being fully transparent to its customer base. As per another report by The Independent, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned a ‘misleading’ Tesco ad about its Plant Chef burgers, for making questionable environmental claims.

It remains to be seen if the company can come up with a good alternative since, as reported by The Telegraph, customers are already criticising the giant supermarket for being slow to act.

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