Much dust has been raised recently around favorite Nutella and the value of palm oil. Nevertheless, not only that our beloved dessert is involved in this “case.” Over 50% of the food products on the market contains palm oil. It seems to be an unavoidable ingredient, given that one hectare of palm trees produce nine times more than any other oil source. Its production is much cheaper, more available on the market, and the vast majority of rural areas actually live from processing and selling this outcome. And if many studies show this is not the worst eating oil you can buy – others, such as the European Food Safty Authority, quietly appeal to its boycott. It is estimated that palm oil can cause humanitarian and ecological disasters. And why is it still in our diet – the reasons are mostly economic. However, one should objectively look at what are the benefits and the disadvantages of this product.
First, does palm oil have any positive characteristics?
First, it began to be massively used in 2006 when the American FDA proclaimed that all trans fats must be indicated on product labels. Many manufacturers then switched to palm oil that does not contain trans fat.
Also, this oil is an excellent source of vitamin E – tocotrienols which are an essential antioxidant and very positively affects the health of the brain cells and heart.
Furthermore, compared to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, the palm’s is significantly healthier. But in relation to liquid ones, for example, olive, incomparably less nutritional value.
The question arises – is the fact that it is not exactly the worst choice in the world, should be in the daily diet of people?
Why does research more often say “no” to the Palm Oil?
In 2016, the European Food Safety Authority raised concern about the presence of a 3-MCDP substance that is cancerogenic and can lead to kidney and reproductive diseases.
As one expert explains – During the technological processing of palm oil but also in combination with other more complex compositions in many products, a glycidyl ester of fatty acids is produced, and many other harmful substances. Palm oil should not, therefore, be treated at temperatures higher than 200 degrees.
The second issue that concerns is ethics. Millions of tons are produced annually. The problem is also the deforestation and ecological and climate changes from this massacre of nature. Many animal rights fighters around the world protest in the hope of banning the production and descent of palm forests, and therefore the natural habitat of many already endangered species.
Iceland is the first country to ban the use of palm oil
In the end, the thing is in the hands of an individual person. Will you be regarding this product as an evil of the modern age, aware of its adverse impacts on health and the environment; Or will you see the entire story as another marketing trick and favoriting of some other, more expensive products? World health organizations must point out the harmful effects, but do not expect drastic statements and prohibitions, as it can harm a considerable industry. And when we say the industry, do not mean about the billions and large corporations, but also to millions of people in rural areas who feed their families by producing palm oil.
Whether it’s found in black or on the next shopping list, it’s up to you to decide.