On your average stroll down the refrigerated section of the market, you will usually see a cornucopia of different hummus brands and flavors. Many people grab a tub of their favorite flavor or brand, but what more is there to know about the qualities of your hummus? Many health cognoscenti insist on brands that are certified organic, but there are other questions we hear quite often, namely: “Is hummus vegan,” and “Is hummus raw?”
For the average consumer, these questions rarely come into play. However, as the mass market increasingly relies on inhumane animal raising and killing practices, as well as on the addition of potentially harmful chemicals to treat crops and preserve food, the concepts of vegan and raw living have grown in popularity. So is hummus vegan or raw? Let’s break it down!
What is Veganism?
Whereas vegetarians do not eat meat, vegans don’t eat any animals or animal products. This includes eggs, dairy products, or honey. According to the Vegan Society, veganism is “a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.”
What is Raw Foodism?
Raw food consumers only eat foods in their “natural state” – that is, uncooked. Anything heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit is considered cooked food, because any more heat deactivates the living enzymes found in plants. Raw “foodies” are also generally vegetarians, as the raw diet comprises mostly organic vegetables, superfoods, sprouted grains and seeds, nuts, and fermented food and drink.
So, with an understanding of these two concepts, we can move on to how this discussion pertains to our favorite dip – hummus!
“Is Hummus Vegan?”
In a word, YES! Humus as a food category is generally classified as vegan, because it does not contain any animal products. All you need to do to make sure your choice is vegan is scan the ingredient list. The basic ingredients are garbanzo beans (chickpeas), extra virgin olive oil, and tahini – along with varying amounts of lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and sea salt. Obviously different flavors will contain other ingredients, but unless they are somehow meat or animal products, then the hummus remains vegan!
At HOPE we guarantee that our dip is and will remain vegan. At no time does our facility contain or use any animal-derived products, so we can always say that our hummus is worthy of vegan approval.
“Is Hummus Raw?”
Unfortunately, hummus is not considered a “raw food,” mainly because the garbanzo beans are cooked before being blended in. However, most brands fail the test in many other ways: the use of conventional ingredients, heat pasteurization for preservation, and preservatives to maintain freshness. A simple look at the label will bring these facts to light.
This is where HOPE stands a cut above the rest. Although we use cooked garbanzo beans, we maintain the highest standard of quality in all our ingredients and processes.
- We are USDA Certified Organic, which means that as far as is practicable, we only use foods that are verified farm-to-shelf to be free of pesticides, GMOs, and additives that could be detrimental to your health.
- In order to avoid heat pasteurization, which negatively affects freshness and enzyme activity, we use High Pressure Processing (HPP). HPP subjects foods to such high degrees of pressure that it essentially crushes bacterial cell membranes, thus maintaining freshness without having to heat the product above raw-approved temperatures.
- We do not use preservatives! Thanks to the HPP process, we are able to rely on pressure treating, as well as a low pH level maintained by lemon juice and citric acid, to preserve our product without resorting to unhealthy food additives.
Working in the humus business, we have often been asked, “Is hummus vegan,” and “Is hummus raw?” Fortunately we are vegan by nature, and we go as far as possible to ensure the raw freshness of our hummus… so grab a container next time you’re at your local market and see what the buzz is about!