Wendy’s is one of the most famous fast-food restaurants in the US. When most people think of Wendy’s, their signature Baconator and double cheeseburgers are usually the first foods that come to mind. However, many vegans have been wondering, “Are Wendy’s fries vegan?”
Unlike many of its competitors, Wendy’s fries are vegan-friendly! They aren’t seasoned with any meat derivatives, don’t contain any dairy, and are fried in sustainable vegetable oil. So go ahead and grab yourself an extra-large order of fries. You deserve it!
I love Wendy’s fries. Even before I went vegan, I preferred Wendy’s fries over McDonald’s, Burger King, and its other fast-food competitors. Below, I’ll give you some more info on Wendy’s famous fries and give you a brief rundown of all of the ingredients in them!
Are Wendy’s Fries Cooked With Meat?
Last week, I wrote a post detailing how McDonald’s fries aren’t vegan due to the fact that they contain a meat-derived seasoning that comes from beef fat. Unfortunately, this is true of many fast-food restaurants, so it’s hard to tell if any fries are vegan just by looking at them.
Thankfully, Wendy’s is one of the few companies that doesn’t use any meat or animal-derived products in their fries or as a seasoning. When the company started rebranding itself a few years back, one of the first things that it decided to do was commit to using fresh ingredients.
Compared to most of its competitors, Wendy’s fries are more natural and contain fewer artificial ingredients. The potatoes are even served with some of their skin on!
Are Wendy’s Fries Cooked With Palm Oil?
Another win for Wendy’s is that their fries are NOT cooked with any palm oil whatsoever!
Although palm oil is an all-natural plant oil, most of the world’s palm oil comes from massive farms in Brazil and Indonesia that burn down rainforests and destroy natural habitats by thousands of acres. This makes it an unsustainable product that’s very harmful to the planet.
Instead of palm oil, Wendy’s uses either canola, soybean, or cottonseed oil, which are all sustainable, vegan-friendly cooking oils.
Wendy’s Fries Ingredients: Listed
Whenever I write these posts, I always make it a point to break down all of the main ingredients used in the item of question.
Even though Wendy’s fries are vegan-friendly, they do contain more artificial ingredients than I usually prefer. Here’s the full breakdown so you can see for yourself.
As you’ve probably guessed, potatoes are the main ingredient used in Wendy’s fries. There’s nothing really special about their potatoes. They’re just natural potatoes that come from Idahoan farms.
For the most part, potatoes are regarded as a healthy starch that’s good in moderate amounts.
2) Vegetable Oil
All of Wendy’s fries are fried in vegetable oil. However, instead of the palm oil that’s used by most of the fast-food industry, Wendy’s uses canola, soybean, or cottonseed vegetable oil.
3) Modified Food Starch
Modified food starch from potatoes, corn, and tapioca is added to the outer layer of the fries. This helps give them a crispy, crunchy texture once the oil starts to fry them.
4) Rice Flour
A small amount of rice flour is mixed in with the starch to help the fries have an even crispier texture. It also helps combat the stronger flavor of the oil.
Dextrin is a simple sugar that’s usually derived from corn or potatoes. A light layer is added to the outside of the fries to give them a slightly sweet (read addictive) quality. This is why you can’t seem to put your container of fries down and have to keep on eating them back-to-back.
All of Wendy’s fries are salted with everyday iodized salt for flavor.
Wendy’s uses a bit of leavening powder in its fries to ensure that they don’t puff up too much during the cooking process.
Dextrose is very similar to dextrin and is another simple sugar/carbohydrate that’s blended into the outside seasoning. This helps to prevent the fries from sticking to each other after they’re cooked.
9) Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is added to a lot of different foods as a preservative. This helps keep the fries fresh and prevents them from going bad.
10) Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate
This mouthful of an additive is a chemical that’s added to the fries before they’re frozen to help preserve their natural color, so they won’t turn dark brown.
Conclusion – Wendy’s Fries Are A Vegan Snack!
Wendy’s fries are a delicious vegan-friendly snack. Although the fast-food joint may not offer many other vegan options on their menu, the fries are A-okay!
If you’re a traveler like me and often find yourself on the road, it helps to know which fast-food restaurants offer vegan-friendly food. Be sure to check out my list of Jack-In-The-Box’s vegan items next!