Are Figs Vegan? The Truth About Wasps & Figs

If figs contain dead wasps, can they still be vegan? Here, we dive into the truth of this rumor and discuss how dead insects affect the answer to the question ‘are figs vegan?’

Yes, most figs sold commercially are 100% vegan as they have never contained dead wasps. The less common caducous varieties do contain digested wasps, but still qualify as vegan.

The Short Answer: Are Figs Vegan?

Georgia de Lotz / Unsplash

The Fig Wasp Life Cycle

Figs and fig wasps have a mutually beneficial relationship. The wasps pollinate the figs, but in the process of doing so, die and are reabsorbed by the figs.

Quin Engle / Unsplash

Do Figs Contain Dead Wasps?

All fertilized fig syconium contain deceased wasps, but evidence of this has long been erased by the time it’s ripe to eat. But most vegans agree that this is a natural process that includes no animal exploitation or cruelty.

Are Wasp-Pollinated Figs Considered Vegan?

Raspopova Marina / Unsplash

The most commonly cultivated fig tree is Ficus carica. Unlike most wild-type fig trees, this one can produce parthenocarpically. They do not produce seeds and do not have dead wasps in them.

Commercial Cultivated Figs Aren’t Fertilized

Simona Sergi / Unsplash

Despite not containing wasp bodies, most fig products are not vegan because they contain refined sugar. Some of our favorite vegan fig products include: Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars, Traina Home Grown Dried Figs, and Organic Turkish Dried Figs.

Best Vegan Fig Products

Tanya Shulga / Unsplash

Swipe up to learn more!