Is There A Difference Between Plant-Based Butter And Margarine?
By Betsy Parks
While some plant-based foods are quite modern, many others are just updated takes on grocery staples that have been around for a long time, like plant-based butter. It’s essentially an updated way to sell margarine, and the only real difference between the two products lies in their ingredients.
Since the 1950s, margarine has been produced without any animal products, unlike the original margarine, which was prepared from churning beef tallow and milk. Newer margarines are made with trendier ingredients, like olive and avocado oil, flax, and cashews, but the process of making margarine is still the same.
Most plant-based butters are well-labeled and will say that they are vegan right on the packaging. If you're not sure, look for whey, lactose, casein, or caseinate in the ingredients list, especially if you're lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, because some margarines still include trace amounts of animal products.