Going palm oil free

It was probably in the shampoo you used this morning, or the soap you scrubbed yourself with, the toothpaste you brushed with, the vitamin pills you swallowed or the make-up you applied. It might have been in the bread you toasted for breakfast, or the margarine you smeared on it, or in the creamer you stirred into your coffee. If you used butter and milk, the cow those came from was probably fattened on it too. It’s almost certain that you’ve used palm oil today.

Even the vehicle you travelled in today – bus, train, or car – ran on fuel containing palm oil. Much of the diesel and petrol we use has a component of biofuel added to it, which mainly comes from palm oil. Even the electricity that powers the device you’re reading this on may have been generated in part from burning oil palm kernels.

Palm oil is the world’s most popular vegetable oil. It’s in 50% of consumer products, as well as playing a central role in a slew of industrial applications. Farmers produced 77 million tonnes of palm oil for the global market in 2018, and that is expected to grow to 107.6 million tonnes by 2024.

Palm oil’s ubiquitous presence in our lives is, in part, down to its unique chemistry. Harvested from the seeds of the West African oil palm, it’s pale in colour and odourless, making it a convenient food additive. The oil has a high melting point and is high in saturated fats, which is ideal for creating melt-in-the-mouth creams and confectionaries. Most other vegetable oils need to be partially hydrogenated – where hydrogen atoms are chemically added to the fat molecules – to achieve the same consistency…..

Article Source: Going palm oil free – BBC

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