Palm Oil Update

palm oil

After writing my post on the importance of reducing our consumption of palm oil I had a look through my cupboards and was shocked to see just how many foods had palm oil in them.  A bag of raisins?  Covered in the stuff.  Oatcakes?  Full of oil.  Crackers.  Naan breads. Garlic bread.  So much palm oil they’re practically dripping in the stuff.

But to be completely honest, trying to reduce our consumption of palm oil has been difficult.  Really difficult.  If not impossible.   I think it’s easier to start slow, and replace some things as you go, rather than trying to cut it all out completely.  I’m not sure if we’d eat and clean and wash otherwise.  It’s not helped when you email companies to ask if any/which of their products are palm oil free and weeks later you still haven’t had a response (hello Lush and Little Me Organics).

I have had some joy in replacing some products and foodstuffs with palm oil free stuff.  I think.  It’s such a minefield – with the 30 different names for palm oil I can’t be sure, so please don’t take my word for it that these products are indeed 100% palm oil free:

palm-oil-free-laundry-liquid

Palm Oil Free Food

Sunpat peanut butter (crunchy) – we’re big peanut butter fans.  I like it on apple as a snack.

Equal Exchange peanut butter – my daughter loves peanut butter but the Sunpat stuff we like is full of sugar and salt.  I was buying Whole Earth peanut butter before as it’s unsugared and unsalted, but it contains palm oil, so I found this one in Earthy Edinburgh, which is unsugared, unsalted and palm oil free.

Mackies Crisps (available at Sainsbury’s) – made with sunflower oil.

Walkers Crisps – made with sunflower oil

Divine Chocolate – too delicious for words

Weetabix

Ready Brek and generally any other plain oat cereal (i.e. no chocolate, raisins or other additions)

Dorset Cereals – all varieties (click on the link to read Dorest Cereal’s palm oil policy).

Palm Oil Free Toiletries

Sarakan Toothpaste –  has an unusual taste and texture that takes a bit of getting used to, but palm oil free, unlike other brands of natural toothpaste, like Kingfisher, which are made with palm oil.

Palm Oil Free Cleaning Products

Bio D cleaning products – palm oil free products that cover the whole spectrum of cleaning and washing from dishwashing liquid, bathroom cleaner, kitchen cleaner, laundry liquid, hand soap, dishwasher powder and more, at an affordable price – e.g. £4.55 for 1 litre of laundry liquid and £1.88 for washing up liquid.

Ecos Laundry Liquid –  does 50 loads of washing.  Bargain.  It also smells lovely.

Palm Oil Worst Offenders

I was genuinely shocked when I looked at a bag of raisins (a favourite snack in our house), to see it contained palm oil as a glazing agent.  Consequently my favourite cereal, Fruit and Fibre, is out, and to be honest I’m a little wary of anything with raisins in them.  I’ll replace this with porridge or Dorset Cereals when I’m feeling flush.

I’ll share any other food stuffs and products I come across, and if you have any you want to share then please do in the comments below.  I’ll also update you in a little while with how I’m getting on.

 

*main image from here

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8 comments

  1. Hi there – not sure why I chose peanut butter, but that is the first product I’ve started to try and avoid Palm oil. Afraid I finally got a reply from sunpat and they do use it as a stabilising agent but it’s not on their ingredients list. It’s not easy to escape is it!

    Reply
    • Oh no, thanks for letting me know – I’ll make sure to amend the article. Sadly I actually found it too hard to continue avoiding palm oil – it was turning into a full-time job trying to email companies to find out which products contain palm oil, and then chasing them up. This good news is that apparently by the end of this year all products containing palm oil will have to be labelled as so, so I hope to resume the quest to live palm-oil free once that comes in. I recently received an email from Meridian Foods – http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk/ – and they’ve let me know that none of their nut butters contain palm oil, so that might be worth seeking out?

      Reply
      • It definitely is like a full-time job! We’ve been palm-oil free all year though and dedicate our whole site to living that way.

        I would say it’s very hard but certainly doable. I hate hearing that it’s *too* hard though – Don’t give up!

        PS. We’ve managed to stay away from all derivatives, too! Which will probably never fall under mandatory labeling laws and is almost always unregulated.

        Magda
        http://www.selvabeat.com

        Reply
  2. Just so you know, emulsifier 471 (E471) is often derived from palm oil and it sneaks its way into lots of otherwise innocent seeming things, like peanut butter and ice cream.

    Reply
    • Thanks for letting me know Libby. I found trying to reduce our intake of palm oil products too difficult and reluctantly gave up our quest. It was turning into a full time job emailing companies, chasing companies up, deciphering labels, sourcing alternative products, etc, that it was just too much. All food containing palm oil was planned to be labelled by the end of this year, which I was hoping would make life much much easier (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-to-lead-way-on-sustainable-palm-oil), but it appears this has been shelved by the current government as I’ve heard no more about it.

      Reply
  3. Hi, just found your site after discovering that Kingfisher toothpaste has palm oil in it. I was going to query their customer services about it and found you instead.

    Meridian peanut butter doesn’t have palm oil on their ingredients.

    Thanks for putting this site together.
    Kind regards
    Marina Young

    Reply
    • Hey Marina, did you get in touch with Kingfisher? I’ve just found this blog while doing a Google search on Kingfisher and Palm Oil. They might get it from a sustainable source which is still not ideal but better than ruthless conventional use. Anyway, I’ve just decided I’ll contact them anyway as they need to know that it is of concern to customers. Ciao!

      Reply
  4. Hi Wendy, thanks for the great blog against Palmoil. Fortunately as more companies realise we don’t want extinction as an ingredient in our food many are now ditching using Palmoil and its derivatives as an ingredient. If you haven’t heard of ShopPalmoilfree.co.uk or Selvabeat.com pls check out their list of Palmoil free brands and products. Every Day products such such as cosmetics, laundry liquid , food stuff & personal body care products are listed freely on the sites. Palmoil investigations also has a comprehensive list of alternative names for Palmoil which is easy to print off and take on shopping trips to know which ingredients to avoid. Keep up the good work.

    Reply

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