Earth Balance Butter Spreads Might Not Be Vegan (Palm Oil)


Earth Balance has a nice “vegan” sticker on all their products, and on their website.

And by the technical definition of veganism, their butter spreads are vegan.

But the definition of vegan is different for a person and a product.

Earth Balance and Palm Oil

All Earth Balance spread products start off with a blend of oils, something like: Vegetable oil blend (Canola, Coconut, Palm oils).

The one that many vegans don’t eat is palm oil, and it’s in all of their products.

I’ve written to Earth Balance about this issue and never received a reply of any sort.

Palm oil is the stuff you’ll find mostly in processed junk food, but also in “vegan” butters.

I encourage you to read my full post about why you may not consider palm oil to be vegan.

While palm oil comes from a plant and is technically vegan, the vast majority of the industry is rife with:

  • Human rights violations
  • Animal habitat destruction
  • Animal cruelty and murder

Orangutans in particular have been reduced to endangered species numbers.

Workers burn forests at an alarming rate to clear land for new palm plantations. Orangutans are beaten, killed, and burned alive.

It’s not hard to find pictures and videos of this.

Earth Balance does use “sustainable” palm oil, which is better, but there’s still a lot of the above issues even in supposedly sustainable operations. Here’s a quote from their website:

Earth Balance fully supports the production of certified sustainable palm oil.  We are a  member of the RSPO council and are currently working towards Mass Balance for our sustainable palm oil sourcing.

RSPO is supposed to be one of the better sustainable palm oil organizations, but even that’s not a guarantee of ethical practices.

It’s not good enough for me personally, but you can make your own call of course.

Alternatives to Earth Balance Butter and Other “Vegan” Butters

It seems like most vegan butters have palm oil in it. Obviously this is annoying, because this is a very useful product.

But there are some vegan butters without palm oil, they just might be hard to find.

miyokos vegan butter

What I’ve done personally is started to make my own vegan butter.

After a few that didn’t taste to good, I found this amazing vegan butter making guide that is simple and made by a guy who thankfully knows too much about the science of butter making.

palm oil free spreadable butter

It’s super simple and tastes just as good as Earth Balance in my opinion. It also costs a tenth of the price, which is a nice side benefit.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.