Palm oil leads to immense deforestationPixabay

I’m sure with the uproar from Iceland’s recent ‘palm oil free’ campaign, that questions have been raised over what palm oil actually is and why the hell it is in all consumer products imaginable? Do not fear for I am here to explain what it is, why it’s so bad, and to show you just how easy it is to avoid!

Palm oil is a natural oil found within palm fruits; nothing harmful with that, right? Wrong! Because in recent years, demands for palm oil have sky rocketed due to our snacking culture, and so palm oil is being used as a replacement for trans fats in these products. Leading to immense deforestation, rendering people homeless and making that cute orangutan treeless.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! Luckily, some supermarkets are looking to improve their impact on the planet, with Waitrose, M & S and most importantly SAINSBURY’s being RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) certified. I have compiled a helpful list of palm-oil free or sustainable palm-oil products! Help the planet without even trying; lazies of the world unite.

BREAD

Skip over the Kingsmill and own brand bread- get yourself buying Warburtons or Hovis; a change so simple you’ll probably forget you’re helping the planet.

SPREADS

I’ve got a butter idea: replace your regular butter with Yeo Valley! All of their products use sustainably sourced palm oil. Believe it or nut, Whole Earth, Meridian and Tesco own brand are all palm oil free. As for Nutella, thank your stars you can still binge it with a spoon guilt free. Well, nearly.

FASTFOOD

A big misconception is that eating when being environmentally aware means living of carrots and lettuce, so you’ll be pleased to know that some of your favourite chains are doing their part! Although Pizza Hut and Starbucks are off the cards, Maccies, Subways and Krispy Kreme are certainly not! All claim to use sustainable palm oil.

For all your noodley needs, go to Kabuto noodles.

 Nutella! Thank your stars you can still binge it with a spoon guilt free. Well, nearly.

BISCUITS

Your brew will not be sad, I promise you. Fox’s biscuits, Jammie Dodgers, Maryland cookies, Nairns, Lotus and Wagon Wheels are all using sustainably sauced palm oil.

 CRISPS

AVOID: Doritos (I know, I’m sorry) and Pringles.

REPLACE WITH: French Fries, Walkers, Sainsbury’s Own Brand, Tesco Own Brand, Waitrose own brand or Tyrell’s.

Though this might not make you happy - it may make your aching stomach after binging on a whole bag slightly happier.


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 SWEETS AND CHOCOLATE

Skittles, Starburst and Mentos are COMPLETELY PALM OIL FREE. Sweet! Whilst Ferrero Roche, Lindt, Thorntons, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, After Eight, Divine, Celebrations, Barratt’s, Galaxy, Kinder and Haribo are following a no-deforestation policy.

 ICE CREAM

Unfortunately, our classic favourites of Haagen-Dazs, Magnum and Cornetto are not in the good books.

But DO NOT FEAR.

If you didn’t already have enough excuses to buy a big ole tub of Ben and Jerrys to yourself, there is another. They are completely palm oil free. Nice one.

As you can see, Palm oil is in nearly every product we consume- but by boycotting and replacing with sustainable or oil-free products you can help lead the way to changing the ways of global companies. You can still eat trash! Just don’t trash that cute orangutans’ home from that Iceland advert.

Correction, 18th January: This article has been corrected to reflect that Kettle Chips UK does not use palm oil in its products

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