… at least sometimes!
As I have outlined in my previous post, the ubiquitous usage of palm oil as a cheap ingredient causes utter devastation in rainforests, esp. in Indonesia on the island of Borneo and Sumatra where it drove the Orang Utan, the Sumatran tiger and elephant to near extinction. Only recently, it was agreed between Premier Li and President Widodo to increase the amount of palm oil exported to China by another 500,000 tonnes on top of the already 3.73 million tonnes last year.
But is it really going to help smallholders? Or is it because they have no option? The actual problem perhaps isn’t the palm oil itself but the sheer amount of it we are consuming.
Here is a short list of products in which it is commonly found:
- Cadbury’s chocolate
- Clover and Rama margarine
- Ginster’s pastries
- Young’s Findus fish fingers
- Kellog’s Crunchy Nuts
- Nestle KitKat, Aero
- Pringles Potato Chips
- Dove soap
Visit here to find out about a very exhaustive list of the most common products and the many other names of palm oil such as palm kernel stearin, palmitate, sodium lauryl sulphate (in almost every shampoo as a foaming agent and even toothpaste).
What transpires very quickly from the list above and most other lists is that it is mainly processed foods in which it is found. And the funny thing was that I realised that I had stopped eating any of it myself a long time ago even before I realised the implications. This is for the simple fact, that they are mostly not good for you anyway and once you have tasted other alternatives it makes your taste buds tingle.
And what can you do to avoid:
- Stop eating ready meals and make nice and simple meals from scratch. Think about using a slow cooker or find out about recipes which are quick and easy to make. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has quite a few tips up his sleeve.
- Rake through your bathroom cupboard and really start thinking about what it is you actually really need. Making some of it yourself can be fun, rewarding, and great for your budget. For more tips on this visit here.
- Use other types of cooking oils and ditch the Bertoli and margarine. A lot of it came of course with the reduce fat campaign. It’s all about knowing how to use them and not letting them get too hot so as to avoid the development of trans-fats. Good alternatives are coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil and groundnut oil. Rapeseed oil however has other problems, as the vast monocultures have led to a massive decline of native insect species due to neonicotinoid use. Seemingly, there is a possibility of a good yield without the use of vast amounts of insecticides which is good news.
- Look out for sustainably sourced products such as Meridian peanut butter and chocolate.
- Make sure products such as soap are RSPO certified.