Why We Don’t Use Palm Oil in Our Products
The Palm Oil controversary continues and shows no sign of letting up. Why is this raw ingredient so controversial, and what, if anything, can the consumer do about it? It may help to point out the history of palm oil and its growth in popularity over the years. Only then will it become clear why we don’t want to use palm oil.
History of Palm Oil
Elaeis guineensis, or the African Oil Palm, is one of the most common and prolific raw materials grown today. It has been around for thousands of years. Originating in Africa, where it is a common cooking oil, it is now grown throughout Southeast Asia and South America. During the Industrial Revolution, it was used as a lubricant. Both palm fruit oil and palm kernel oil are high in saturated fat (49% and 81%, respectively), which makes it a popular shelf-stable ingredient in processed foods. It is also relatively low in cost. In fact, palm oil is found in everything from baked goods to personal care products to gasoline and biofuels. As a result, palm oil plantations have exploded in growth over the past ten years.