As we touched on in our previous article on palm oil, it’s a hugely confusing subject. Found in everything from shampoo and soap to chocolate and pizza, knowing which products to avoid can be a minefield. Unfortunately looking in the ingredients list doesn’t always help as palm oil can be listed under strange-sounding sneaky names such as: Elaeis guineensis, Etyl palmitate, Glyceryl, Hydrogenated palm glycerides, and Octyl palmitate. And that’s just a few of them.
Simply boycotting palm oil isn’t the answer either. While it’s currently being produced in a destructive way by many of the large producers, it is in fact an incredibly efficient crop and switching to alternatives could be even worse for the planet.
Produced in a sustainable way, palm oil can be a force for good in emerging economies and can be cultivated in a way that doesn’t destroy the planet. The Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil is working hard to make sure the future of palm oil is more environmentally friendly with a global standard on its methods of production.
One thing you can do is look out for products that use sustainable palm oil, so we’ve rounded up some key products below that are either palm oil-free or are RSPO certified. The RSPO also has a phone app that scans products in the supermarket and gives information about its ingredients – useful when you’re out and about.
Iceland is really leading the way, with a huge range of palm oil free products across its entire food range. It’s gearing up for a palm oil-free Christmas, with everything from mince pies to croissants being completely free of palm oil. Waitrose, M&S, and Sainsbury’s are also not far behind in overall supermarket ratings.
2. Whole Earth Peanut Butter
All Whole Earth products only contain 100% RSPO palm oil.This means they buy sustainable palm oil at a premium, bound by strict guidelines to ensure the local environment and habits are preserved and communities can enjoy a better standard of living. Meridian nut butters are also all palm oil free.
3. Island Bakery Biscuits
Island Bakery make some incredible biscuits and their entire range is palm oil-free which just makes us love them even more. No need to feel guilt about demolishing a whole pack solo then.
4. Biona Breads
Biona Organic is a fantastic company as all their products are organic, natural and super good for you. Their breads are all palm oil free and they only use sustainable organic palm oil in other products so you can be sure than anything from them is a safe bet.
5. Divine Chocolates
Cheap chocolate bars from big manufacturers are some of the worst offenders for palm oil – we’ll be naming and shaming them in our next piece! But there are plenty of great palm oil alternatives out there including the amazing Divine Chocolates.
When it comes to other essentials such as butter then Yeo Valley are well rated and for breakfast cereals, the entire Rude Health range is palm oil free.
For loads more help on this, check out the Ethical Consumer website.