Palm Oil Alternatives

Over the past few decades, there’s been a quest to make processed food healthier, by replacing trans-fats and hydrogenated oils.
This quest led food manufacturers to palm oil.

The tropical oil is healthier than most, can stay solid at room temperature and yield 500% more per acre than other vegetable oils.
Palm oil is now used in just about every aspect of commercial industry, from processed food to personal care products and plastics.

But this initial quest for healthier food did not end up being healthy for the environment. As demand for palm oil exploded for the first decades of the 21st century, millions of acres of rain forest were cleared across Southeast Asia
to build palm plantations, destroying ninety percent of the natural habitat of orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and other endangered species.

Many companies are now searching for a more sustainable oil.
A food research team in Canada has found a way to process a palm oil alternative by adding enzymes and glycerol to different kinds of vegetable oils, turning liquid oils into desirable solid fats.
The process can utilize commonly available vegetable oil crops grown in more diverse locations, such as cottonseed, or peanut oil, which are also healthier.

Around the world, other companies are also testing for palm oil alternatives – from developing oil from a common yeast to extracting a palm-like oil from microalgae.

These innovative methods can create a healthier oil and would allow food manufacturers to replace their heavy reliance on palm oil, while still keeping prices low.

And since 2004, the non-profit, RSPO or Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, has been on a global mission with every sector of the palm industry, to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.

Alternative thinking, scientific support and global awareness can mean that palm oil and sustainable living don’t have to be mutually exclusive.