Like the name suggests, palm oil comes from the fruit of the palm tree. The number of packaged foods you’ll find this “edible” (and I use that term loosely) oil in is mind blowing.
Just go to your cupboard and grab any packaged food. You’ll most likely find palm oil on the list of ingredients.
It’s in everything from chocolates and soups to soaps and detergents. Palm oil is a food industry favorite and the demand for palm oil has skyrocketed in the past decade.
Given its widespread use and popularity, you most likely have palm oil somewhere in your kitchen right now.
That’s exactly WHY I’m urging you to read this!
At a first glance, the palm oil industry seems to be a promising healthy alternative.
The food industry paints a rosy picture of how it’s promoting the welfare of the poor in rural regions of South Asia. Yet, if you dig deep down, there is more to it than you can digest.
4 Things You Should Know about Palm Oil
1. Not a sustainable source: The palm oil industry has some major issues. Impact on the planet and the violation of human and animal rights top the list, and that’s just the beginning!
Every hour about 300 football fields of rain forest is cleared to make way for palm oil production.Tweet
This data is an estimate from the World Wildlife Fund. This constant deforestation has led to the loss of habitats for wildlife and hence, the extinction of many species
This is one of the reasons for the endangerment of orangutans and Sumatran tigers.
As if that’s not enough, the palm oil industry is often accused of abuse of indigenous rights, and child labor too. Palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia have a devastating impact on the natives. Child labor is another violation in remote areas of these countries.
2. Global warming: The increased demand for palm oil has a severe impact on rain forests.
Acres of palm plantations that replace rain forests contribute to climate change. This involves the burning of rain forests and emission of colossal smoke into the air. A clear cause of the greenhouse effect, leading to global warming.
3. Not the healthiest: Palmitic acid, a type of saturated fat makes 43.5% of the palm oil.
Eating foods with Palmitic acid triggers the body to make more cholesterol.
Processed palm oil is abundant in the market. It’s the processed form that poses the most dangerous health effects.
Most manufacturers produce fractionated palm oil because of its stability and higher melting point. While this is good for shelf life, it is not good for health.
Fractionated palm oil has a higher percentage of saturated fats. This can clog blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease. You’ll find fractionated palm oil in most chocolate coatings and icings.
Note: Although coconut oil, does contain palmitic acid, it is only 8% of its total fat content.
4. Creates belly fat: Most of the palm oil on the market is the processed type. Manufacturers oxidize the oil to increase shelf life.
It’s this type of oxidized oil that acts as a trigger to belly fat!
Oxidized oil leads to chronic inflammation in your body. This disturbs blood sugar and fosters the storage of fat in the abdomen.
Not Sustainable, Not Healthy! Why Even Buy It?
Given its ethical background, palm oil is something that is best avoided.
We do have a say as residents of this planet to unethical trading. We have a responsibility toward fellow humans and other lives on Earth.
Avoid ”conflict palm oil”, say no to unethical sourcing and irresponsible destroying of rain forests.
Vote with your wallet, stop buying palm oil. Always choose Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). This helps keep rain forests safe and protects the rights of local communities and wildlife.
How can you help stop unethical sourcing?
Avoid prepackaged foods: Most of them contain palm or palm kernel oil. Bakery goods, cookies, crackers and peanut butter are only a few of the products that use palm oil.
Read food labels: If fractionated palm kernel oil is an ingredient the label will show. You can choose to buy other edible oils that do not harm the planet and are sourced in ethical ways.
Boycott palm oil: Stop buying palm oil and products made from it. When the demand drops, food companies will have to reduce sourcing in unethical ways.
We can take action, one person at a time, it does matter to many lives. You can change the fate of thousands of people and wildlife in South-East Asia.
Yours in health,
P.S. Please share this important info. with your friends and loved ones and I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.