Summer's Vegan Honey Food Trend Might Be Hiding A Big Secret

While you probably already know that vegans don't eat animal products, like meat, cheese, and milk, there are many other items that you probably don't even know are made with animal products. For example, strict vegans have to be careful about consuming candy, since quite a bit of it contains an ingredient known as gelatin, which is made from collagen found in pigs and cows, according to Treehugger. Gelatin also appears in a number of other surprising places like marshmallows, puddings, and some canned soups (via Livestrong).

And it may come as a surprise to some to learn that honey is not vegan either. Because it comes directly from bees, it is an animal product and therefore not vegan (via While there are a number of vegan honey options that have popped up on the market, a different kind of alternative has gone viral on TikTok recently. Popular TikTokers have taken to the app to show their followers how to make a vegan honey substitute known as dandelion syrup. However, while these videos might be garnering lots of attention now, it is not exactly a new invention. Dandelion honey recipes have been floating around the internet since at least 2017 (via Peta).

Dandelions might not be safe for everyone to consume

According to Carleigh Bodrug, a vegan cookbook author known as @plantyou on TikTok, the vegan dandelion syrup can be made by simply simmering picked dandelions, water, and lemon together in a pot, allowing it to sit overnight, and then straining the liquid and boiling it with sugar until it reaches a thick, honey-like consistency. This easy recipe made with one of the most common weeds in the country and ingredients that you probably already have on hand, is racking up views online.

However, just because something is popular, that doesn't mean it comes without risks. While dandelion syrup may be vegan, that doesn't mean it might not contain other harmful ingredients. Amanda Neal, a recipe developer for the Food Network, warned, "Car exhaust and pesticides can easily contaminate the flowers and make them dangerous to consume ... It's best to pick dandelions from a secluded field where they grow rampant and you know no pesticides or other toxic chemicals are used." 

Toby Amidor. a registered dietitian, also warned would-be chefs that dandelion consumption can interfere with certain medications, including antibiotics, diuretics, diabetes medications, anticoagulant drugs, and some psychiatric medication, via Food Network. So anyone who is planning on making their own dandelion syrup should definitely take a little extra care to ensure there won't be any negative side effects from their concoction before partaking in this latest TikTok trend.