Fast Food Chains: Not Very Veg-Friendly

Your friends want fast food. You’re a vegan or a vegetarian. They want McDonald’s. There’s not much for you to eat there. Not much at all. But what about french fries? They’re made from potatoes…right?

Think again.

McDonald’s French Fries

Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*, citric acid [preservative]), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.

CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK *(Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients)

Neither vegetarian nor vegan friendly.


Now let’s take a look at the other two major fast food chains: Wendy’s and Burger King.

Wendy’s Natural Cut French Fries

Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (contains one or more of the following oils: canola, soybean, cottonseed, sunflower, corn), Dextrose, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (to maintain natural color). Cooked in Vegetable Oil (soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor [vegetable], citric acid [preservative], dimethylpolysiloxane [anti-foaming agent]). Cooked in the same oil as menu items that contain Wheat, Egg, Milk, and Fish (where available). Seasoned with Sea Salt

Neither vegetarian nor vegan-friendly, as cooking process causes cross-contamination.


Burger King
Shockingly, this is vegan-friendly. According to, “the French fries do not contain any natural flavoring derived from meat products and are therefore suitable for vegetarians. They are cooked separate from any meat products.”

Source: and


But what about those veggie patties at Burger King and Subway?

Nope. Not vegan. And not dairy-allergy-friendly, either. Observe:

Burger King Veggie Patty:

Contains milk and egg and the label clearly states “This is not a vegan product.” For vegetarians it’s alright, but not so much for vegans. also says, “Some places carry veggie burger, but they are usually cooked in the same oil that is used to cook meat.”

Source: and

And, finally, the Subway Veggie Patty:

VegiMax ingredients:
Vegetables (mushrooms, water chestnuts, onions, carrots,
green and red bell peppers, black olives), textured vegetable protein (soy
protein concentrate, wheat gluten, water for hydration), egg whites, cooked
brown rice, rolled oats, corn oil, calcium caseinate, soy sauce (water,
soybeans, salt, wheat), contains 2% or less of onion powder, corn starch,
salt, hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat protein, autolyzed yeast extract,
natural flavors from non-meat sources, sugar, soy protein isolate, spices,
garlic powder, dextrose, jalapeno pepper powder, celery extract.

Subway does not post their ingredients on their web site, which I find to be frustrating. Fortunately, sites like VegWeb do their homework.

Subway’s veggie patty is not suitable for vegans or anyone with a casein allergy.



So, there you have it. If your friends want fast food, try to talk them out of it. Or at least take you somewhere you can eat.


4 thoughts on “Fast Food Chains: Not Very Veg-Friendly

  1. You can’t eat wheat if you’re a vegan? Or do they just call that out for the celiac-sufferers?

    Also, I wonder if the BK fries being vegan is why they’re THE BEST fries of any fast food restaurant.

  2. I am with you when it comes to blaming the industrial chains for delivering not fast but simply bad food. Still, I’m not fully convinced by your argument. A vegetarian dining out at McDonald’s is like a non-smoker having drinks at a cigar lounge. Once he has entered, he can’t really complain, can he (or she)?

  3. Actually, you are not aiming for healthy food or nutritious food or at least good food if you step into a fast food restaurant. Everyone who does the cooking knows that. So people who want healthy and delicious food should prepare their food at home. For recipes, you can check at:
    Hope you find interesting recipes for yourself!

  4. Thanks for your comments, guys. I (and hopefully others) definitely know that eating at fast food restaurants isn’t ever a healthy option. The point of my post was mainly to talk about the fact that it seems a lot of people think that just because it’s not meat doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s vegetarian and especially vegan. That’s all 🙂 I certainly avoid fast food like the plague…though sometimes cravings happen.

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