Thursday, May 6, 2010

Becel vs Earth Balance

When I saw the ads popping up on my computer that Becel had bought out a vegan margarine I was so excited.  Another super large corporation plasters the "V" word for all the world to see on another very mainstream product.  It's awesome to see that veganism is penetrating the minds and pocketbooks of behind the scene shareholders. It makes me laugh to think of these stuffed suits sitting in boardrooms saying what the "H" is Vegan but who cares -- put it on there if it's gonna make us more $$$$!  They may not be a "pure" company like Earth Balance but hey how fussy can we get at this point!  Not everyone can afford to shop at exclusive health food stores with their exclusive prices.  So if we're looking at that as a dividing factor (and I don't think it is one we can forget) than we have to be thankful for whoever was behind the scenes at Becel that is helping to bring a new vegan product to the masses.

It's too easy to get caught up in "pure" attitudes and overlook the fact that for many people disposable income is an issue and there is a pretty big difference between $3.99 for Becel from Safeway and $5.69 for Earth Balance Organic Whipped Butter Spread at your local health food store.  It's also much easier for people to find a "chain grocery store" than an "organic food store" in most neighborhoods.  I understand that there may be other issues behind Becel but if we're looking strictly at what's on the label and for people who want to be Vegan and support the concept of veganism than it's a really positive new product for them to embrace.

With respect to flavor - Becel does have that going on -- it's a nice light buttery taste and one that most people are used to.  I love the fact Becel is spreadable straight out of the fridge whereas with Earth Balance (particulary the non-whipped versions)  you have to remember to put it on the counter for a bit or you won't be spreading anything.  I find that the Organic Whipped Butter Spread is the tastiest product, as well as the easiest spreading butter in the Earth Balance line and will continue to use it as I prefer to use organic wherever possible. And of course,  the 1/4 lb blocks of  Earth Balance hard margarine are still ideal for baking cookies and the like. With the increasing demand for organics in the marketplace I'd guess that it won't be long before  Becel will come out with an organic version of their vegan margarine as well.  In the meantime I'm pleased to know that there is now a second choice out there and it's as close as the nearest grocery store shelf in almost any neighborhood.