What is Palm Oil and why are People Avoiding it? | Friars Chocolate

A new consumer trend which is becoming more and more popular as 2021 progresses is the awareness of palm oil, something that is now encouraging more and more shoppers to check if their products contain palm oil before they buy it. So, what exactly is it that is driving this new found palm oil woke-ness? 

Palm Oil Basics

In essence, palm oil is an edible vegetable based oil which comes from the fruit of oil palm trees. Manufacturing the oil can have two end products, crude palm oil from the fruit’s flesh and palm kernel oil which comes from the stone in the centre of the fruit. Oil Palm Trees can be found all over the world in over 40 countries. Palm Oil is very versatile and can be used in a wide range of products, from food to cosmetics. Some people even use palm oil as a regular cooking oil. 

It doesn’t take a huge area to grow enough trees to create large batches of palm oil either, so historically it has been considered to be quite an efficient method for oil production.

So, what’s wrong with Palm Oil?

Palm Oil production is one of the biggest contributing factors to global deforestation, although a small crop can produce quite a large amount of oil, the sheer quantity consumed by people on Earth is vast – palm oil can be found in almost 50% of all the pre packaged food we find in supermarkets and also in cosmetics too. The simple fact is that we consume more than we can sustainably grow and that is having a devastating effect on the planet.

According to WWF:

“Palm oil has been and continues to be a major driver of deforestation of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests, destroying the habitat of already endangered species like the Orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino. This forest loss coupled with conversion of carbon rich peat soils are throwing out millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. There also remains some exploitation of workers and child labour. These are serious issues that the whole palm oil sector needs to step up to address because it doesn’t have to be this way.”

Palm Oil production is bad for us, our animals and our environment and that’s exactly why so many people are now looking to consume products that do not contain palm oil, to reduce demand and reduce the need for palm oil production.

At Friars we stock a huge range of Palm Oil Free Chocolates – see the full collection here 

These Palm Oil Free Chocolates are packed with delicious cocoa and no palm oil, we use alternative ingredients to ensure the chocolates remain tasty whilst reducing their impact on the environment. 

If you want to reduce your palm oil consumption or want to find out more about what you can do to help the cause, visit the WWF website for everything you need to know!

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