An open letter to Yves

Dear Yves,
Why do you continue to make exciting new veggie products … only to have 1 minor ingredient that makes it not vegan friendly?

My husband Gerry was SO excited to try your Yvves Corn Dogs but we were saddened to see that they contain “dried honey”.

When you’re making a veggie friendly product like this why can’t you add some other sweetener (stevia, agave, maple syrup, sugar, etc) and then EVERYONE (vegans and vegetarians) can eat it? Not just vegetarians who don’t care about the exploitation of bees.

I’m very confused by all this and I hope you will consider replacing the dried honey with a vegan friendly sweetener so ALL of the veggie community can enjoy your new corn dogs.

Signed,
Sarah Kramer on behalf of The Bees – who don’t want to be exploited for corn-dogs

**If you’d like to write to Yves and let them know how you feel you can contact them HERE.

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25 Responses to An open letter to Yves

  1. Melissa says:

    ugh! this happens to me all the time…that ONE ingredient is such a pain.

  2. Alejandra says:

    Well said! Did you send it?

  3. Right on, Sarah!! Yves has been doing this a lot in the last few years..and i have no idea why!

  4. Larissa says:

    I, too, was quite bummed to discover I couldn’t eat the corndogs. *sigh*

    On a less serious note, I thought it was funny that they put the corndogs next to vegetables on the box. As if people aren’t going to eat them with French fries ….

  5. Crys T says:

    ARGH!! I *hate* it when this sort of thing happens! I don’t know how many products I’ve been on the verge of buying something yummy, only to find the words “egg whites” or “dried milk powder”. Why can’t food manufacturers have a bit more imagination?

  6. CVM says:

    I just wrote a letter to back up your request. They certainly should go all veg if they can, and they can!

    if Field Roast ever gets more widely distributed it will be game over for Yves. These guys make the tastiest sausages and roasts ever.

    http://www.fieldroast.com/

    CVM

  7. Holly says:

    Their “vegetarian loaf” frozen dinner is also vegan-except-for-honey. What is with that? Agave is such an easy substitute, and there can’t be that much in each corn dog!

  8. Jonathan says:

    I may be about to p*ss off a lot of folks here, but I do have an honest question. I have been having a hard time understanding why vegans get so up in arms about honey. OK, I get that some people think that bees are ‘exploited’, it is just that I am not sure the term is all that meaningful applied to bees, as opposed for example to applying it to barnyard animals. I don’t eat meat, and am currently only consuming dairy products from a small, local organic producer – that is something I will probably phase out over the next while. But, I’ve kept bees myself, and am well acquainted with the local beekeeper in the small town in which I live, and I have to say I think the relationship between humans and bees seems to be to be far more of a symbiotic one than an exploitative one. The only reason there is any surplus honey at all, is that the bees don’t have to build a hive – they are provided with one, and so produce more honey than they ordinarily would (plus of course, they pollinate not only wildflowers, but all the blueberry and strawberry farms within about a 20 mile radius). If a hive is not producing any surplus, then it is left alone and you don’t take any honey at all from it until – you hope – the next year when the hive is stronger (this is one reason beekeeping is a bit risky as a way to earn a living) It is interesting to see how, if you don’t add supers (additional layers of frames containing hive foundation on which the bees build the honeycomb) at the appropriate time, and population pressure builds up too much in the hive, the bees can, and do, just up and leave and set up elsewhere. But the bees themselves have no individual self awareness – indeed, the worker bees, once they enter the stage of their lives where they go foraging for pollen, will not survive the season to enjoy the fruits of their labours, so to speak. They seemed programmed to wear out after a certain period of time. What you have instead is a collective hive consciousness that, in some way we don’t quite understand, “decides” what to do. My brief foray into hobby beekeeping was not a success – after the first year, my hive decided I wasn’t doing a good enough job taking care of their needs, so they disappeared – only to turn up 2 miles down the road where they took over an empty hive at my beekeeper friend’s farm. They’ve been there ever since.

  9. Jonathan says:

    Holly, in answer to your question, agave is quite a bit more expensive than honey (2-3 times more expensive at the store I shop at), and I am assuming that Yves is trying to keep costs down. I find their products pretty pricey, and only buy their stuff if I am absolutely craving a veggie dog (odd, as I never could stand the meat byproduct type hot dogs even as a kid). Of course, sugar would be cheaper still, but that would probably turn a lot of folks off their products as well.

  10. lilolulo says:

    @Jonathan: “I have to say I think the relationship between humans and bees seems to be to be far more of a symbiotic one than an exploitative one.” Actually this relationship is very often far from symbiotic. Probably we can find some little local beekeeper where bees aren’t too worse, but in our world of productivity and profitability, and where animals don’t have decent rights, we just can’t expect any symbiotic relationship.

    See the documentary “Des abeilles et des hommes”, went on the air of TV5 Monde:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x179at_apis69_des-abeilles-et-des-hommes

    The documentary is in French (I don’t know if it’s available in other languages). You’ll see practices far from symbiotic: confinement of the queen, artificial insemination by swating males to take their sperm, cutting the wings of queens, aggressive ways to collect honey, destruction of entire bee colonies instead of wintering, etc.

  11. lilolulo says:

    @Sarah: I wrote to Yves some months ago about the same thing. The answer received is:

    =====

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding our Yves’ Veggie Corn Dogs. We strive to maintain the highest quality products and appreciate your patronage.

    As one of our valued customers, your satisfaction is very important to us and we will share your ingredient suggestions with our Leadership Team.

    If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-434-4246, Monday through Friday from 7AM – 5PM Mountain Time.

    =====

  12. Jonathan says:

    Well, I guess the question is whether or not one believes bees suffer from being kept in hives, and in a broader sense whether or not one believes that insects are capable of pain & suffering in general. It’s pretty clear that all vertebrates do (including fish), and it seems likely that invertebrates like octopi with complex nervous systems must, but things get a bit murkier when you get to invertebrates like insects. Returning to the topic at hand though, (i) why would Yves use dried honey if they already use sugar? (ii) IIRC from How it All Vegan, Sarah, you had said that animal charcoal is commonly used in making refined sugar. How common is this, how does one find out whether or not this is the case, and would this in itself make any Yves product with added sugar non-vegan anyway? I agree that people are fooling themselves if they think any heavily processed food is particularly healthy, which is why I eschew it for the most part.

  13. Jonathan says:

    As an aside, I don’t even eat honey – but the reason for that is mainly that farmed bees are heavily medicated due to the persistence of diseases like foulbrood – which seems to weigh in the balance against the health claims made for honey.

  14. Chiron says:

    Also to let you know – most of Yves products (as are So(y) Goods) manufactured with soy protein called Solae (that is manufactured by chemical companies Dupont & Bunge). They like to claim that it’s not GMO – but it’s not organic and it’s a patented soy product – so you can do the math. Companies can claim that there stuff is non GMO but there is not certification process to prove anything is non-GMO. I have asked Yves for proof that their products are non-GMO (and besides form e-mail responses) they have not provided any proof. The only safe way is to only eat organic soy products.

    Solae (www.solae.com) is used in a lot of non-organic soy products
    http://www.solae.com/company/mediaroom/pdf/Branded%20partners%20tab/SolaeBranded%20Products.pdf

    I have avoided all of Yves and Soy Goods products for years because of this.

  15. Mary Ann says:

    I just clicked on that link and sent them a note – was very easy and quick and I encourage everyone to do so.

  16. Sent them a letter. I think I am going to make my own vegan corn dogs.

  17. kate says:

    shouldn’t this company be avoided by vegans since its products are manufactured with Solae. i get the honey thing, but I am more worried about that.

  18. Evan Foster says:

    i used Stevia extract as a sugar substitute because i am diabetic. Stevia is really sweeter than sucrose.,,:

  19. Kimberly says:

    What a shame.
    Sent them a letter as well.
    🙂

  20. My daughter judy cant have honey at all. Dose your corndogs have honey in them and where can i buy this at thank u

  21. Meranda says:

    I did not know about the solae. I read that they are also linked to Monsanto. I am never buying Yves products again.

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