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Smart Balance is known for healthier options when it comes to butter, peanut butter and cooking oil. With its unique blend of plant-based oils, it offers nutritional benefits like vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and more. But, is Smart Balance vegan?
Smart Balance peanut butters and cooking oils are vegan because they don’t contain any ingredients derived from animals. Some of the Smart Balance buttery spreads might be vegan but they contain natural flavor, vitamin A palmitate and vitamin D.
Below is a table showing Smart Balance flavors and its vegan status.
|Smart Balance Original||No, contains Milk.|
|Smart Balance Organic||Maybe, contains Natural Flavor.|
|Smart Balance Omega-3||No, contains Fish Oil and Vitamin D3.|
|Smart Balance Low Sodium||Maybe, contains Vitamin A Palmitate and Vitamin D.|
|Smart Balance Extra Virgin Olive Oil||Maybe, contains Vitamin A Palmitate and Vitamin D.|
|Smart Balance Creamy Peanut and Flaxseed Oil Spread||Vegan.|
|Smart Balance Chunky Peanut and Flaxseed Oil Spread||Vegan.|
|Smart Balance Non-Stick Cooking Spray||Vegan.|
|Smart Balance Cooking Oil||Vegan.|
Smart Balance Ingredients
Below is a list of ingredients from all the flavors that I could find.
- Naturally Extracted Annatto* (Color)
- Beta-Carotene (Color)
- Calcium Disodium EDTA (to Preserve Freshness)
- Canola Oil
- Fish Oil
- Lactic Acid (non-Dairy)
- Monoglycerides of Vegetable Fatty Acids (Emulsifier)
- Natural Flavor
- Natural and Artificial Flavors
- Olive Oil
- Palm Oil
- Pea Protein
- Potassium Sorbate
- Soy Lecithin
- Soybean Oil
- Sunflower Lecithin
- Vitamin A Palmitate
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E (Dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate).
As always I’ve highlighted the ingredients that we need to take a closer look at.
Since fish oil is derived from fish, this ingredient is not vegan-friendly.
Whey is used in some flavors and this ingredient is made from cow’s milk.
Sugar can be a tricky ingredient for vegans because there is in situation where sugar could be classified as non-vegan. Cane sugar is one of the most popular sugar types used in candy and sweets. When it gets refined the sugar can become a problem for vegans.
In the refining process the sugar is also bleached and a common method is to use bone char from dead cows. Exploiting dead animals in the production process would technically make the product non-vegan.
The second questionable ingredient is natural flavors and the problem with this ingredient is that it’s an umbrella term, meaning that it often consists of several ingredients and the source of these ingredients are never disclosed on the ingredients label.
This means that natural flavors could contain ingredients sourced from animals and it would not be shown on the ingredients label. If you want to be sure about this ingredient then the best option would be to contact the company and ask.
Palm oil is a controversial ingredient in the food industry. Even though it’s vegan, it’s the production of the palm oil that is a problem for many vegans. A large deforestation is taking place to make room for palm plantations, which means that wildlife is being forced from their homes.
The deforestation is taking place in Indonesia and Malaysia, where some of the most exposed animals are orangutans and rhinos. It’s not only vegans that are taking a stand against the palm oil industry, but people all around the world are boycotting products containing palm oil.
Now there is a way to make palm oil more vegan-friendly and that is called RSPO. This stands for Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. This is a non-profit organisation that helps companies produce and buy sustainable palm oil.
Vitamin A & D
Both these ingredients can be derived from animals or plants, making them very questionable ingredients.
Soy is one of the most common GMO crops in USA and this ingredient can be a problem for many vegans because of the negative impact on the environment it can have. GMO crops requires a high amount herbicide and this can pollute the surrounding ecosystem.
Many vegans tends to look for the label non GMO project in order to be sure that the product does not contain any ingredients that is made from GMO’s.
It’s very unsure if any of the Smart Balance buttery spread flavors are vegan because they contain some questionable ingredients such as natural flavor, vitamin A & D. I have contacted the company and I will update this article once I get a response.
Thanks for reading, take care!