Some Surprising Products That Contain Palm Oil

Less than three decades ago, very few people in the western world had heard of palm oil, let alone used it for any purpose. But all of that changed around 1995, according to The Guardian:

“Between 1995 and 2015, annual production quadrupled, from 15.2m tons to 62.6m tons. By 2050, it is expected to quadruple again, reaching 240m tonnes. The footprint of palm oil production is astounding: plantations to produce it account for 10% of permanent global cropland. Today, 3 billion people in 150 countries use products containing palm oil. Globally, we each consume an average of 8kg of palm oil a year.”

The result of that astronomical increase in the use of palm oil has been devastating for the environment, leading to massive deforestation, most notably in developing areas of the world:

“85% comes from Malaysia and Indonesia, where worldwide demand for palm oil has lifted incomes, especially in rural areas – but at the cost of tremendous environmental devastation and often with attendant labor and human rights abuses. Fires set to clear forests and create land for more palm plantations are the top source of greenhouse gas emissions in Indonesia, a country of 261 million people. The financial incentive to produce more palm oil is helping to warm the planet, while destroying the only habitat of Sumatran tigers, Sumatran rhinos and orangutans – driving them towards extinction.”

Most of us, however, have no idea exactly what products contain palm oil. Granted, many companies market their products as containing the substance so they can charge more or market their wares to niche audiences who buy based on a product having palm oil as a main ingredient.

But TenTree.com notes that there are many products on the market that also contain palm oil and yet most consumers have no idea what they are.

Here’s a few such products:

 

Laundry Soap

 

Yes, palm oil is often refined and used in laundry soap and other cleaning products

Two good brands that are palm oil-free: Eco Leaf and Eco Zone.

 

Lipstick

 

Why you may ask, would palm oil be used in lipstick? Well, because it holds color well and doesn’t melt at higher temperatures. Also, it has no taste, which makes it perfect for lipstick.

 

Pizza Dough

 

Palm oil is often used in both the fresh and frozen premade pizza you get from your local grocery store. So the best way to avoid it is by making our own dough, with this easy recipe.

 

Bread

 

Because it’s cheap and easy to cook with, palm oil is frequently used. Also, because it remains solid at room temperature, palm oil is placed in store-bought bread.

Organically baked bread is your best option if you want to avoid palm oil.

 

Instant Noodles

 

Few products have as much palm oil in them as instant noodles. In many cases, palm oil is up to 20 percent off of the total weight of a pack of noodles!

If you want a noodle that doesn’t have palm oil in it, your best bet is King Soba, which is gluten-free, wheat-free, and even USDA certified organic.

 

Margarine

 

Now that trans fats are banned in many food products, palm oil has become the ingredient of choice for those who make margarine. That’s because it contains zero trans fats and remains solid at room temperature.

The best alternative to margarine is to use butter.

 

Shampoo

 

Much like with laundry detergent, palm oil is also used in shampoo because it restores the natural oils in hair. But it’s a nightmare for the environment.

 

Identifying palm oil on ingredient lists

 

Looking at a product’s label is one of the best ways to avoid purchasing a product that contains palm oil, but it can be difficult to identify what products contain palm oil because manufacturers of these products often intentionally do not clearly label their products. Palm oil operates under the following names:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Vegetable fat
  • Palm kernel
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Palm fruit oil
  • Palmate
  • Palmitate
  • Palmolein
  • Glyceryl
  • Stearate
  • Stearic acid
  • Palmitoyl oxostearamide
  • Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sodium kernelate
  • Sodium palm kernelate
  • Sodium luryl lacylate/sulphate
  • Hydrated palm glycerides
  • Etyl palmitate
  • Octyl palmitate
  • Palmityl alcohol

 

Featured Image Via Flickr

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Andrew Bradford
 

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