Good V’s Bad Palm Oil

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Good V's bad Palm Oil

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Why am I talking about Good Bad Palm Oil?    Because I need to tell you that good things are happening

Good things are happening and that is very important to know

Not long ago an organisation that I’ve donated to for years sent me an email that contained graphic images and desperately sad stories. Even though I have donated for years, because I care, I was waiting to hear good news, anything ANYTHING at all that would encourage me. Anything that might make me feel like I had made some kind of difference. Just a small positive story to give me a glimmer of hope, but there was none, not even the hint of some good news.  I just wanted to give up. That’s human I know but I was still ashamed that I wanted to give in.  If you feel like you can’t make a difference that you are defeated, then how can you go on?  This story that I want to tell you is not like that. Sure it’s pretty bad but there is a great solution. There are things being done that will make you feel like you can be part. Things you can do to help the Earth, People and Animals.

That’s the story of  Bad Palm Oil

Will you give me a minute of your time to tell you about what’s happening? I so wanted to get involved in the launch of this positive campaign because although for me it involves saving animals, it is actually not completely about that. It also involves millions of people , no billions of people like you and me.

So can you indulge me a bit? Do you know what Palm Oil is and where it comes from? If you do, skip this bit. If you want a refresher, if you want to add something hear me out. And please comment and share.

Palm oil is a vegetable oil from the fruit of  a certain sort of palm tree. Although it is edible it is also used in a myriad of other products.  The Palms are grown across the region of the equator mostly in Indonesia and Malaysia but cultivation has spread through Africa and with devastating effect through South America as well.  The home of Palm Oil is also home to the world’s almost 10 million species of plants, animals and insects. Some of these we haven’t even discovered yet. Imagine if some of these could potentially offer cures to some diseases. By now you must know that rainforests recycle our air, store water and protect the atmosphere. Palm oil plantations are not a replacement for rainforest vegetation that is dense and lush. A Palm oil trees’ yield decreases with age and they need to be replaced. This is most often achieved with cheap destructive slash and burn farming causing dangerous air pollution and even grounding of flights.

This was once forest. Picture Guardian files.

Good V's bad Palm Oil

Palm oil is used in everything from snack foods to soaps. It is found in over half all packaged items on our supermarket shelves. So right now if you are smug like me you might be thinking, I don’t eat many packaged foods. Right?. Well do you use toothpaste, makeup, household cleaners, shampoo, soap? Yes?  How about bread and chocolate? Then you probably used a lot of Palm oil today. 70% of the world’s cosmetics and household cleaners contain raw materials derived from Palm oil. Now I could tell you more but any of the links I provide here will. I want to make you feel like YOU can help because you can.

That means we are dealing with a product that has great importance to many people. We can’t get rid of it, even if we wanted to. But we can do something about it. That’s something to be positive about!

The story of Good Palm Oil. YOU can help Support it’s growth.

This is the bit that will make you happy. According to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a not for profit organisation, we can start to reduce the impact of bad Palm oils and encourage sustainable Palm oil growth. Not only can being certified sustainable help protect communities with fair working conditions it can actually help protect valuable species and forests. Many communities in rainforests rely on income generated form harvesting Palm oil, but by using sustainable practices, farmers can increase their income by making more Palm oil from less land. Now up to 17% of the world’s Palm Oil is from Sustainable sources!! That is a remarkable achievement. LETS HELP.

  1. Read labels. Palm oil is marketed under many things. Vegetable oil is mentioned a lot. If you are unsure contact the company .You can contact a few companies by clicking on pictures of food products in here.
Here’s the lowdown….

 Only 3 vegetable oils must be labelled in food products in Australia and New Zealand. Those are peanut oil, sesame oil and soy bean oil. The reason for this is that a percentage of the population suffers allergies to these oils. 

All other vegetable oils can be labelled just as vegetable oil. However, the label must declare the amount of saturated fat in the product. Perfect, so if the label states vegetable oil and then goes on to state the amount of saturated fat you can count on that vegetable oil being either palm kernel oil, palm oil or coconut oil.

This is a way of potentially identifying if a product has palm oil in it as other vegetable oils are not “saturated”.  

       2.    Look for this label on products wherever possible ask for products supporting sustainable Palm Oil to be stocked. Just recently Aldi and McDonalds bowed to customer pressure on products they sell.


3. Join a Social media or email campaign and support without even leaving home. Little old you can change the world today from your computer screen. Find the links in the video above and by sharing on Facebook by clicking the logo. Go on…….>>>>


4. Read the list of companies who have done something about it. Make a note on your phone and  buy their products

New products containing sustainable palm oil:

  • Woolworths homebrand donuts
  • Macro corn Chips
  • Thomas Chipman Organic & Gluten Free Chips
  • Bellamys organic baby food
  • Sanctum soap
  • Billie Goat Soap
  • Coles Green Choice Laundry Products and Detergents
  • Hansells- Alfa One Rice Bran
  • Coles Revitalising Citrus Fresh Soap, Coles Soothing Lavender Soap, Coles Nourishing Shea Butter, Coles Ginger Kisses, Coles Lamingtons, Coles Choc Top, Coles Sultanas, Coles 2 Minute Instant Noodles
  • Against the Grain Cookies
  • Doves Farm Products
  • Green and Blacks Chocolate
  • Virgin Red Palm Oil
  • Lush products

This is a world wide campaign to make everyone aware that you can help support SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL GROWTH and it  is being run by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)  a not for profit organisation. It launches 23rd September here in Australia.  You can help by sharing , oh and shopping too!

Find out more here.     AND HERE.    Image from The Guardian Files

Good V's Bad Palm Oil

Disclosure: RSPO commissioned this post for me to raise awareness of good palm oil. All opinions are my own as is my support of this very important program.


  • So important to be aware. It was only about a year ago I became quite aware of this issue and cut a whole heap of items out of our regular shop. Thanks for this list, I will be putting it on my phone.
    Karin @ Calm to Conniption recently posted..The Ultimate Rabbit Hole #86: The Holiday ConvertMy Profile

  • Maree says:

    I travelled to Sumatra the year before last and vowed to promote not using Palm oil ever again. The RSPO was just gaining a foothold then and I will watch how it evolves with interest. I felt so helpless seeing the devastation the industry has impacted on the environment purely resulting from wanton greed and marketing by western civilisation. I was also torn as to how communities have any chance of livelihood and income without it. The devastation is just so great and the big players have such a hold on industry I have my doubts that it can be turned around but it is worth batting for. At least with people purchasing items made with sustainable oil you are hitting an audience who may not normally read labels. I hope the organisations who manufacture and use sustainable oil self promote this issue.

    • My Kitchen Stories says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Maree. I can’t even bare tothink about seeing what they are doing to themselves and the planet. Its sad and frightening.

  • This is such an important issue.

  • This is a very important topic between the orangutan habitat and the smoke pollution (that adds to global warming) from the fires caused by land being cleared. I haven’t bought products that contain palm oil for years because of the devastation caused by its production. I looked into the RPSO but at the time didn’t have enough knowledge to be convinced that they were for real and not just greenwashing. More elaboration from you on that issue might be helpful for my buying choices. For now I’m just staying away from it altogether.
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