It’s in my Easter Eggs and Runs my Car, Still Wanna Eat It?
We all look forward to tucking into our Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday.
One thing we should probably think about is what is actually in them.
I didn’t use to a long time ago, but with mass production of anything, the cheapest raw materials with the biggest gain are gonna be used so that got me thinking, what am I putting into my body? Always check the ingredients
I mean, apart from chocolate, what’s the next most popular ingredient?
Sugar, Cocoa, Milk solids etc etc.
What is the other main ingredients of your Easter eggs?
Do you know?
I’ll tell you. And you will be surprised
It’s Palm Oil..
In this article we will dig deeper into the ethical and sustainable methods (or not) of it’s ever increasing production.
Palm Oil is a vegetable oil that’s estimated to be in over 50% of products for sale in most supermarkets these days. It’s in the ingredients list of a vast amount of foods as well as cleaning products, candles, health, beauty and cosmetics.
And emmmm your Easter eggs…
Palm oil is derived from the fruit of the Oil Palm, (Elaeis guineensis jacq.) a tree that grows in the humid tropics of West Africa, Malaysia and Indonesia, home to some of the rainforests. It’s a tree that local people in those areas are being encouraged to plant as the demand for palm oil from richer countries increases.
Palm oil is used in cooking, especially in West African cuisines and curries. It is also found in certain foods, products and fuels.
What’s the Problem with Palm Oil?
Unfortunately, the problem lies in the area oil palm trees thrive in – the South Asian and African tropics where the ancient forests grow.
To make way for the massive palm oil plantations, the forests are being cleared and burnt, wild animals are being displaced and killed, as well as undocumented plants endangered. As the trees are removed and land cleared, greenhouse gases are being released, air pollution fills the cities and indigenous people are being displaced, often with human rights abuses being committed upon them.
Replacing tropical forests and peatland with palm oil trees is devastating the environment, wildlife and people’s quality of life.
- Calories: 114
- Fat: 14 grams
- Saturated fat: 7 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 5 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat:5 grams
- Vitamin E: 11% of the RDI
Palm oil is 100% fat, half of which is saturated. It also contains vitamin E and antioxidants called carotenoids, which your body can convert into vitamin A. Vitamin A being important for strong immunity, hair, skin and eyes.
Palm oil may increase certain heart disease risk factors in some people. Repeatedly reheating the oil may decrease its antioxidant capacity and contribute to the development of heart disease.
Unfortunately, Palm oil in its most processed form causes mild inflammation to humans when ingested which is something we should try to avoid.
Palm oil may help protect brain function and increase vitamin A levels in certain people.
The World Wildlife Fund Claims That:
“Global production of palm oil has doubled over the last decade. By 2000, palm oil was the most produced and traded vegetable oil, accounting for 40% of all vegetable oils traded internationally. By 2006, the percentage had risen to 65%. Worldwide demand for palm oil is expected to double again by 2020.”
With so much global demand for palm oil, governments, growers and workers living in the tropics, are encouraged to create larger plantations, selling the oil to richer nations. Currently 90% of palm oil production originates in Malaysia and Indonesia, countries that are home to 25% of the world’s rainforests.
According to the team at Palm Oil Investigations:
“Virgin rainforests are being destroyed at an equivalent rate of over 300 football fields per HOUR in South East Asia to make way for new plantations.”
Palm oil is one of the most widely used oils in the world.
However, the effects of its production on the environment, health of wild animals and lives of indigenous people are deeply concerning.
If you want to use palm oil, purchase ethical, RSPO-certified brands.
Additionally, since you can get similar health benefits from other oils and foods, it’s probably best to use other fat sources for most of your daily needs.
Massively disappointingly, Lindt, Thorntons and Guylian some of my personal favourites come bottom of a league table of chocolate Easter eggs scored on use of unsustainable palm oil.
Green & Blacks and Booja Booja Easter eggs are the way forward and are closer to the top of ethical and sustainable producing league table!
Yours in Fitness