At some point or another, we’ve all seen or heard the catchy jingle for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!.
To clarify, I don’t have bad grammar, the brand’s trademark name literally includes a large exclamation point, making them pretty hard to forget. However, is I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! vegan?
Unfortunately, the popular butter substitute is not vegan. Although most of the ingredients are vegan, the original I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter contains traces of milk, making it non-vegan. However, the brand also offers a 100% vegan option that tastes identical!
One of the main staples of any vegan kitchen is a vegan butter substitute. From cooking and baking to a simple slice of toast, great vegan butter makes all of the difference.
In today’s post, I’ll break down the main ingredients of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, and explain the difference between the vegan and the non-vegan options offered by the company.
Did somebody say, “Butter fingers?” Growing up, my grandmother would always call me that, as I had a bad habit of dropping everything she asked me to hold for more than thirty seconds.
In retrospect, it was probably due to my love of eating buttery toast and my general dislike of hand-washing as a young child…
Of course, when I went vegan, I had to give up traditional butter since it’s a dairy product that supports the cruel exploitation of cows.
If you’re not familiar with the process, female cows are artificially inseminated to stimulate lactation. Their young are then taken away from them and they are pumped for milk around the clock.
That fact alone was enough to make me stop consuming milk, cream, butter, and everything in between!
Thankfully, there are plenty of non-dairy butter alternatives on the market that provide the same satisfaction as butter without the cruelty and exploitation.
One of the most popular butter substitutes on the market is I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. It’s widely available at most grocery stores, making it incredibly easy to find.
Unfortunately, though, the original I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! contains dairy by-products, meaning that it’s not 100% vegan.
Let’s take a second to look at each of the ingredients used to make the original I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!:
- Soybean oil
- Palm oil
- Soy lecithin
- Natural flavoring
- Vitamin A
- Beta Carotene
At first glance, there’s nothing that seems non-vegan… until you look at the label a little bit closer:
I’m not entirely sure where the trace of milk comes from, but I can only guess that it’s included under the “natural flavor” category.
While it may seem like a small ingredient, it’s still non-vegan and my conscience isn’t okay contributing to the atrocities of the dairy industry in any way, no matter how small.
While the original I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter may not be fully vegan, I’m happy to tell you that the company does offer a vegan option that doesn’t contain any traces of dairy. The packaging looks almost exactly the same, except it’s a bit more green and has a large “Vegan” label on the front:
It’s Vegan uses the same exact blend of ingredients but contains no traces of dairy. Presumably, this means that they’ve replaced the dairy-containing “Natural Flavor” with a vegan-friendly flavoring.
Normally, I’m a bit wary when a product keeps the same exact ingredients and slaps a “Vegan” icon on the label. However, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! has gone through the necessary hoops and hurdles to ensure that their vegan edition is, in fact, 100% vegan.
The Plant-Based Food Association officially certified the vegan butter as a 100% plant-based food product. So, while the ingredients may remain the same, you can rest assured that it’s completely cruelty-free and dairy-free.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! also makes a popular cooking spray that’s designed to lubricate pots and pans before baking and cooking, to prevent food from sticking.
Unfortunately, however, the company’s cooking spray contains sweet cream buttermilk that’s directly derived from cow’s milk.
If you’re looking for a vegan-friendly cooking spray, I recommend using an olive oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil-based cooking spray. They’re just as effective, contain no animal-derived ingredients, and are also healthier.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Vegan is marketed as a low-calorie, healthier alternative to butter. While the vegan butter alternative is certainly healthier than regular butter, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product itself is healthy.
It’s mostly made up of vegetable oil, which contains unsaturated fats. Aside from the extra calories and the risk to your cholesterol levels, cooking with vegetable oil has been proven to release dangerous chemicals in your body.
As with most good food in life, I recommend a course of moderation. A slice of toast here and there or a bit of vegan butter in the pan won’t kill you. However, I definitely wouldn’t make a habit of consuming vegan butter with every meal.
Cautionary note aside, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Vegan has several notable advantages over traditional dairy-based butter. Take a look:
|I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Vegan||Dairy-Based Butter|
|Certified Heart-Healthy by the AHA (American Heart Association).||Not at all heart-healthy.|
|Full of healthy omega 3’s.||Low amount of omega 3’s.|
|Just 60 calories per serving.||102 calories per serving.|
|70% less saturated fat than real butter.||70% more saturated fat than vegan butter alternative.|
Although the original I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! may not be vegan, the good news is that the company does offer a 100% vegan edition that’s widely available at grocery stores and health food stores alike.
While vegan butter may not be healthy to eat with every meal, it’s definitely a lot healthier than traditional butter.
Plus, it’s cruelty-free, which is the main reason I went vegan in the first place.
If you’re looking for more answers about the most popular vegan and non-vegan foods on the market, be sure to check my food and beverage blog on Vegan Calm and keep up with the latest posts! Thanks for reading, and namaste.