These vegan butters (with no palm oil) give an ethical alternative to the myriad of vegan margarines on sale, that contain ‘sustainable palm oil’ (there is no such thing). See why we should give up palm oil on why this label is not good enough. If you don’t eat dairy, it’s important to find vegan butters that are free from this cheap oil, to help save the habitats of orangutans and other endangered creatures. Greenpeace say that the oft-quoted ‘Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil’ has no legal power (many certified forests have burned to the ground). They say quoting ‘sustainable palm oil’ is as useful as a chocolate teapot. Try this homemade Vegan Cultured Butter (Full of Plants).
If you eat butter, choose brands from free-range farmers, to avoid factory farms. If you don’t eat butter, here are some ethical alternatives. A few are in zero waste packaging. For others, set up a Terracycle community recycling scheme if your council does not recycle margarine tubs. Keep these brands away from pets, as some contain soy and nuts.
- Make your own vegan cultured butter. This is a good recipe but you do need specialist ingredients like lecithin granules. You can find simpler recipes at Simple Vegan Blog, The Loopy Whisk and Loving it Vegan.
- Plant-Based Artisan Honea But+er (London) is made with cashew nuts and cocoa butter, keep it in the fridge. Good on sourdough bread or crumpets, the company also offers vegan brandy butter (great with mince pies) and rose, orange & chilli butters.
- Naturli Vegan Butter Block is made with coconut oil, and comes wrapped in paper. The tub version is sold in health stores, online and in Sainsbury’s.
- Better than Buttah is a lightly salted artisan butter. It has a light creamy texture and is ideal to spread on warm crusty bread or crunchy toast.
- Mouse’s Favourite is slightly salted, with a rich butter taste. This spreads straight from the fridge onto fresh bread and is good with cucumber sandwiches, mashed spuds, hot crumpets, beans on toast, warm scones or to make a buttery pie crust.
- Veurre® is an organic margarine made from hemp, coconut & olives (high in essentially fatty acids). This brand is free from 14 major allergens and softens at room temperature.
- Ghee is a clarified butter often used in Indian cooking. Bonsan Olive Oil Ghee and Sunflower Oil Ghee are found in health stores or online.
- Mr Hugh’s Baking Oils (Norfolk) are made from locally-grown rapeseed oil. Sold in vanilla, orange, lemon or hazelnut infusions, use like-for-like.
Never Feed ‘Bread with Fat’ to Birds
Did you know that feeding bread with fat (butter, sandwiches, roast dinner leftovers) can stop waterproofing/insulation of feathers? A little fresh wholemeal (soaked) bread occasionally won’t do harm. But white bread, mouldy bread, hard bread (pizza crust, crackers, stale rolls etc) or sandwiches with fat (butter, lard, roast dinner grease) can all harm.
Artificial feeding also encourages wildfowl to come near roads, dogs or cats – and makes wildlife rely on you (gradually reduce feeding in summer when there is plenty of food around, or else birds could starve if you suddenly stop feeding). Never feed nuts to baby birds, they can choke. Experts say to feed wildfowl tiny amounts of fresh (soaked) wholemeal bread, tinned/defrosted sweetcorn or peas or torn lettuce, cabbage or spinach. Throw food on the water, so birds don’t choke on dry bread.