I'm sure this must have been brought up on here before, but I was wondering if anyone has found a good alternative to Earth Balance? Initially when I first heard about this product I was really excited and wanted to try it. Now that I've done more research on it and found out it is primarily palm oil, I am wondering if anyone else is concerned about the implications of buying palm oil products and the environmental impact our increasing demand as consumers has on the planet. Sorry to be a "Debbie Downer" but what is going on in Malaysia, including Borneo is pretty awful. I've been there myself and driven through endless rows of the trees and the clearcutting is obvious. Not to mention the alleged working conditions, the problem with the elephants etc., Anyway I notice a lot of the kind life recipes call for Earth Balance and the recipes sound great, but I'm just not really keen on buying palm oil products, which are increasingly difficult to avoid!!
Hey Jennifer, here in the Netherlands we dont even have Earth Balance so I am not using it. If something calls for earth butter I simply leave it out (especially on sandwiches and such) or use plantbased margarine (not so healthy, so i do so sparingly) or I use coconutoil (is this the same environment endangering as Palm oil????) or another oil like olive or sunflower or sesame.
It depends on what recipe what is the best substitute. But as said before a lot of times i just leave it out :)
(I never used much butter so i dont need to substitute it now)
Still this kind of agriculture makes great problems for a country, the mono-agriculture makes for great environment problems too..
Watch the movie Home (you can see it for free on Youtube) they talk about this too... Here they state that the planting of palmtrees costs a lot in terms of nature. Ofcourse the government do this for economical benefiets which in most cases all profit go to big foreign companies...
Well, I'm not really sure what "they have farms on agricultural land" means...I can tell you for sure that acres and acres of flat open land don't just "happen" without some deforestation when you're in the jungle...what I was saying didnt have anything to do with what is the "right" of the country do benefit their own economy etc., like I said, I've been to Malaysia, I've seen the situation, I've read some stuff and I'm just concerned is all.
By the way, foreign workers make up about 2/3 of palm oil labour in Malaysia...they can't actually keep up with production without hiring outside the country, and they are under constant scrutiny by Amnesty International for various claims of abuse...but the workers can't quit or they get deported...
Please travel to south east asia and see things for yourself...Malaysia is an amazing and beautiful country and it's not all rich KL...and thanks for the advise on alternatives..I'm not even a vegan (just a flirt) so I definitely have a lot more options but I am going to keep looking around..it's very hard to avoid palm oil...it's in everything! But I just wanted to put a few thoughts out there...thanks for listening!
This is somewhat unrelated, but micorfinancing, in my opinion, is a mich better way to help individuals out of poverty than generally government run plantations. Muhammad Yunus has documented great success through microlending, and it goes directly to the people so they can help themselves and their family out of poverty through their own business that they control.
Whether or not you choose to use Earth Balance or not is up to you. I had issues with this as well, and stopped using their product until I was contacted by a representative, who explained very thouroughly to me their processes, which are about as kind as any company can be in these issues. HOWEVER, that being said...Earth Balance and Smart Balance are the SAME COMPANY...so switching one for the other is pointless if your reasoning for not using Earth Balance is ethical.