Palm oil, it’s pretty pervasive stuff, isn’t it.
After writing my post on the importance of reducing our consumption of palm oil, I had a look through my cupboards. I was shocked to see just how many foods had it in them. A bag of raisins? Covered in the stuff. Oatcakes? Full of oil. Crackers. Naan breads. Garlic bread. So much so that 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. It’s such a minefield though. With 30 different names for palm oil I can’t be certain, so please don’t take my word for it that these products are indeed 100% free from oil:
Equal Exchange peanut butter – my daughter loves peanut butter but the Sunpat stuff she took a liking to is full of sugar and salt. I was buying Whole Earth peanut butter before as it’s unsugared and unsalted. Then I found out it too contains palm oil. Instead, I found this one, 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 – the classic cereal
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).
Sarakan Toothpaste* – has an unusual taste and texture that takes a bit of getting used to. However, it is palm oil-free, unlike other brands of natural toothpaste, like Kingfisher.
Bio D cleaning products* – palm oil-free products that cover the whole spectrum of cleaning and washing. From dishwashing liquid, kitchen cleaner, laundry liquid, and dishwasher powder for the kitchen. And for the bathroom, bathroom cleaner and hand soap. These come in at a more affordable price. I think it’s around £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.
The Worst Offenders
I was genuinely shocked when I looked at a bag of raisins (a favourite snack in our house). It turns out palm oil is used 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 will share any other foodstuffs and products I come across, and if you have any you want to share then please do in the comments below. I also plan to update you in a little while with how I’m getting on.
NB: This article was written in 2013 when there were considerably fewer resources about palm oil and palm oil free products. As such there may be errors contained here as things change. This page is no longer updated – this post is a much more up-to-date resource.