Oranges, Bugs & Bees? Why Your Fruit May Not Be Vegetarian or Vegan

Oranges are one of nature’s best snacks. Fruits and veggies are often assumed to be vegan & vegetarian friendly, but this is not always true.

So what vegan or vegetarian unfriendly ingredients lie in your oranges? Here is an example we found at Wegman’s:

“oranges coated with food-grade vegetable, beeswax, and or lac resin based wax or resin to maintain freshness.”

Lac resin comes from beetle excretions and beeswax comes from bees. They serve to protect the skin of the fruit and extend shelf life. While you’re not eating these ingredients, there are people who don’t want the sticky resin of a beetle or a bee on their hands.

These natural ingredients are definitely less toxic than other chemicals  that we’ve seen used on oranges, so this is a plus. However, for vegans, and to some extent vegetarians, the use of animal-sourced products in fruits and vegetables is less than ideal when non-animal sources exist. If you’re shopping for vegans it’s not safe to assume that fruits & vegetables are OK. Use Fooducate’s new vegan & vegetarian settings to help discover these little surprises.


  • Kia Mennie

    This is an issue for vegans, but nothing about the term “vegetarian” implies incompatibility with beeswax. See , for example.

  • Jason Wittman

    I was a vegetarian for 25 years and still eat mostly vegies. This article is pushing vegan concept into crazy-ville. Probably these same people ought to be wearing masks because their is dried and ground up beetle dust floating around in the air.

    • HelloStrega

      Let’s not forget about the worm poop that helps feed most plants that we eat.

  • josh

    Seriously, I think this is overreacting. Do you want your fruits or veggies to be coated with orthophenyl phenol or some other nasty stuff that cause infertility, birth defects?

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  • Hilbertron

    How about just no lac-resin, that’s really what people are most uncomfortable with; mostly due to conflicting perceptions. If it’s okay for beeswax it’s okay for lac-resin sounds good but who has ever seen a lac bug, oh, and it’s an ingredient in paint. (Everyone should feel real shitty for painters covered in liquid cancer basicly) Everyone loves the Honey Bee, we are familiar with how bees operate as a society; a non issue for most.