Peanut butter is a popular ingredient that’s favoured for its impressive nutrient profile, rich and delicious taste, and creamy texture. It’s an excellent source of vitamin E, healthy fats, proteins, and has been shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. With all these great features, you should definitely make it a staple food in your diet. Skippy is a popular brand of peanut butter, and for good reasons. I love eating it on toast or simply straight out of a serving cup with a spoon. While there are natural brands that only list peanuts in the ingredients, brands like Skippy often include more extra ingredients. That’s why as a vegan you need to understand which of their products is vegan-friendly and which ones aren’t.
Is Skippy Peanut Butter Vegan? Simply put, yes… most of the time. They are typically made from peanut, oil, salt, and sometimes added sugars, which are totally safe for a vegan diet. Unless, of course, you buy the flavours that contain honey, which is obviously an animal product. It’s also possible that the sugars used are refined using bone char.
There are several reasons why people choose to adopt a vegan lifestyle. From animal cruelty to health reasons, to save the environment, being vegan is all about making an impact. I would classify Skippy peanut butter as being vegan; however, some vegans may disagree depending on their reasons for going vegan. The truth is Skippy manufactures vegan peanut butter in the same facilities as other kinds of peanut butter that use animal products. In this sense, cross-contamination is sometimes straight-up unavoidable. I’ll cover all the details on how Skippy produces its peanut butter so you can decide for yourself whether it’s worth eating this yummy stuff or not. Read on for more information!
Is Skippy Peanut Butter Vegan?
While it may have the name butter in it, Skippy peanut butter doesn’t actually contain any dairy products. As mentioned earlier, it’s made using just a few simple ingredients such as peanuts, salt, and oil. Some types may contain additives like sugar, which is still considered vegan.
That being said, there are a few instances that Skippy peanut butter may not be vegan-friendly for instance:
- Honey flavour
Skippy peanut butter that contains honey usually says so right on the front of the package, but you should still check the ingredients label just to be sure. Most vegans, particularly those who are for animal welfare, don’t eat honey as it’s produced by bees. Therefore, they will not eat these versions of Skippy peanut butter. On the other hand, some vegans don’t have a problem with eating honey, particularly those who are vegan for health reasons. These vegans would be okay with these Skippy varieties with honey.
Skippy uses refined cane sugar as a sweetener in some peanut butters. Sugar itself doesn’t contain animal products, but it’s still a controversial product in the vegan community based on how it’s processed. Sugar undergoes a filtration system where animal bones are used to remove impurities to achieve a pure white colour. Even though there are no bone particles in the end-product, the mere fact that there’s contact with animal bones means it’s not vegan. Some vegans will avoid the sugar in Skippy peanut butter as a nod for animals while others avoid processed sugar as it contains extra calories.
So, should vegans avoid the sugar in Skippy peanut butter? It’s really up to you! Typically, we’re not even sure the sugar was processed with bone char. It’s only a possibility! Secondly, trying to go 100% vegan may be difficult to achieve. After all, most companies produce vegan-friendly products in the same facilities that they produce other foods with animal products. This ups the risk of cross-contamination. For example, think of pans in restaurants that are used to prepare both vegan and non-vegan dishes.
There are two major concerns with the oil in Skippy peanut butter:
- Health concerns. Skippy uses hydrogenated vegetable oils in their peanut butter to prevent separation and enhance smoothness. Hydrogenated vegetable oils typically add Trans fat, which is the least kind of healthy fat. It’s even worse than the saturated fat found in animal products. Trans fat is known to raise LDL (bad cholesterol) while lowering HDL (good cholesterol). This can be a very problematic ingredient for your health as it increases your risk of stroke and heart disease. If you’re concerned about these oils, you should probably switch to Skippy Natural.
- Ethical concerns. Although Skippy Natural avoids the unhealthy hydrogenated vegetable oils, the oil in it is still a vegan concern. Skippy Natural peanut butter uses palm oil to enhance smoothness. Some vegans oppose the use of palm oil due to its unsustainable harvesting practices, which often threaten the lives of animals that live where palm is harvested.
Other Things to Watch Out For In Skippy Peanut Butter
As mentioned earlier, people adopt a vegan lifestyle for different reasons. Some go beyond the ingredients found in the peanut butter and strive not to support companies/industries that exploit animals. Since you can’t tell whether animals were harmed by simple ingredient-labelling, let’s take a more in-depth look at Skippy to ensure none of your beliefs are broken.
Animal exploitation from Hormel Foods
The Skippy brand is currently owned by Hormel Foods. In addition to producing several vegan foods, Hormel Foods also produces just as much non-vegan products such as muscle milk and spam. Hormel has also been accused of exploiting animals with their pork firms. In fact, it’s ranked one of the worst companies for animals.
Does this mean that vegans should boycott Skippy due to its association with Hormel Foods? Well, this is a personal decision. But I must say it would be extremely difficult to boycott companies that are affiliated to cruel or unsustainable businesses. There are several grey areas out there –not just for Skippy peanut butter but several other vegan products as well. At some point, we are all bound to participate in something, whether directly or indirectly, that causes harm to other creatures. Being vegan is all about making a positive impact, whether for your own health, the environment, or for animals. There mere fact that you’ve adopted a vegan lifestyle is enough to make an impact!
Gaining weight with Skippy peanut butter
Another important consideration when talking about the impact of Skippy peanut butter is whether or not it will cause you to gain weight. Those who are vegan for health reasons will find this a call for concern. Well, when taken in moderation, Skippy peanut butter won’t cause one to gain weight. But thanks to its delicious taste, it’s so easy to overeat it. Considering it’s a high-calorie, high-fat food, too much consumption can cause some weight gain over time.
How to Determine Whether Skippy Peanut Butter Is Vegan or Not
The main non-vegan ingredient added to some types of Skippy peanut butter is honey. Luckily, Skippy says so right on the package. Ultimately, you need to take time and read the ingredient list before making a purchase. This will show you whether a particular peanut butter produced by Skippy is vegan or not. Look for ingredients that may contain animal products such as honey, milk, fish oil, or gelatin.
This rule doesn’t apply to Skippy products only, but other peanut butter brands as well. You’ll find some products labelled ‘certified vegan‘. This means that they don’t contain any animal products, neither have they been tested on animals or filtered using bone char.
Another way to determine whether your peanut butter is vegan-friendly is reaching out to the manufacturer/company directly to address any concerns.
With that being said, here’s a chart to help you navigate which Skippy peanut butter is vegan-friendly and which ones are not:
- Skippy Single –Vegan
- Skippy Creamy –Vegan
- Skippy Super Chunk –Vegan
- Skippy Reduced Fat Creamy –Vegan
- Skippy Reduced Fat Super Chunk –Vegan
- Skippy Natural Singles –Vegan
- Skippy Natural Creamy –Vegan
- Skippy Natural Super Chunk –Vegan
- Skippy Natural Creamy 1/3 Less Sodium & Sugar –Vegan
- Skippy Roasted Honey Nut Creamy –Not vegan (contains honey)
- Skippy Natural Honey –Not vegan (contains honey)
- Skippy Natural Honey Super Chunk –Not vegan (contains honey)
- Skippy Double Peanut Butter PB Bites –Not vegan (contains milk products)
- Skippy Pretzel PB Bites –Not vegan (contains milk products)
- Skippy Granola PB Bites –Not vegan (Contains honey and milk products)
- Skippy Graham Cracker PB Bites –Not vegan (Contains honey and milk products)
Bottom Line: Should Vegans Eat Skippy Peanut Butter?
While it is clear peanut is sown and grown, the word butter can mislead someone into believing it belongs in the dairy territory. Now that you know better, you can feel free to include it in your vegan diet.
Most types of Skippy peanut butter are vegan-friendly while others are not –just as I have mentioned along the way. I have laid out all the reasons why some vegans may object to eating Skippy peanut butter, as well as why others don’t mind eating it. Hopefully, I’ve provided everyone with a better alternative to suit their choices and beliefs. For practical purpose, yes, vegans can eat Skippy peanut butter!
But if you still have some reservations, I’d suggest making your own peanut butter. All you need is a high-powered blender or food processor, peanuts, and maybe a little salt. This process will guarantee your peanut butter is vegan, free of any artificial additives, and there’s no risk of cross-contamination.
A simple search on the internet will give you countless recipes for making peanut butter at home. You can also add a few drops of healthy, natural oils to yield a creamier peanut butter, as well as vegan-friendly sweeteners like maple syrup. If you want to switch things up a little bit, try making other kinds of nut butter like cashew, macadamia, or almond. Just remember they are not guaranteed to be more vegan-friendly than peanut butter.