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The dangerous ingredient you’re eating—and don’t even know it

By Gretel H. Schueller, December 7, 2012 - 11:12am

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Gretel asks: Do you avoid foods because they contain palm oil? Which ones?


I certainly will be trying.

A couple of days ago I ate some candies and the next morning I woke to find the lower left quarter of my face was swollen. After a couple of loraclear tablets I checked the packet and to my horror found that the ingredients contained palm kernel oil. I would never knowingly buy anything containing palm kernel oil or palm oil and have now discovered that a lost of our food contains palm oil but it is described as vegetable oil so we never know what we are actually buying. Disgraceful.


04/02/2016 - 11:46pm

Yes I try to check ingredients listed, unfortunely Girl Scout cookies have changed over the years palm oil, cotton seed oil. Peanut butter, I buy Organic Santa Cruz. Some fine chocolates, Lindt, Godiva , some ice creams. Oreos, butter in fine resturants not cream, some creamers. Unfortunately consumers most never read labels, uneducated low income eat mostly processed foods, can't afford organic products. It's not better today but worse from pioneer days. It's all about profit at cost of humans health.


03/24/2016 - 11:40am

I ordered some dark chocolate from New Jersey, and was happy with the price until I read the ingrediants list. Ingreds. sugar, fractionated palm kernel oil,cocoa (processed with alkali) ,lactose, soy lecithin (an emulsifer) ,partionally hydrogenated palm oil,sorbitan tristerate and artifical flavor.

Want to buy 4 pounds of dark chocolate?


02/23/2016 - 5:34pm

Linda McCartneys Sausages contain "sustainable" palm oil - will never buy this product again.


02/12/2016 - 1:31pm

I avoid palm oil because I am allergic to it. It and coconut cause cancer sores in my mouth. I know when I have a sore in my mouth that I have slipped up and unintentionally eaten something with palm or coconut oil in it. If I can find the packaging of the food I ate three days before, sure enough the ingredients show one or the other oil in it. Sometimes the cancer sores are not bad, but I've has some instances where my whole mouth was covered in them. It is just not worth ingested palm or coconut oil. And, unfortunately, I LOVE coconut. Too bad!

J. Case


01/12/2016 - 10:25am

Palm kernel oil contains high amount og lauric acid not palmitic acid as mentioned in point #2


12/17/2015 - 4:07am

I avoid anything and everything that has PALM OIL listed in the ingredients label. It doesn't sound right to consume at all, and sadly there are a ton of things on today's grocery shelves that contain this addition. As stated in your article, sounds like shouldn't be put in your mouth at all, YUK! Thank you for posting this information, the word really needs to get spread out there on this one, so many people eating this with out even realizing, scary!


10/09/2015 - 12:48pm

I try to avoid any food containing palm oil but it is becoming virtually impossible. My husband bought expensive artisan sausages from our local producer who sells at the farmer's market. I checked the ingredients only to find palm oil is included! I shall be asking him about this next time he is at the market.


10/03/2015 - 7:17am

I think there is a lot of misguided information here. Do some research before jumping on the bandwagon I'd say. Firstly, fractionated does NOT mean trans fat. On the contrary, when the fat is fractionated, it means that there is very low amounts of trans fat in it. Hydrogenated on the other hand does translate to high amounts of trans fat and should be avoided. Secondly, one can attempt to boycott palm oil products entirely if that is even possible, but seriously now, what are you going to replace it with? Soybean oil? Did you know that for the same amount of oil produced from 1 hectare of palm oil plantation you would need approximately 10 hectares for soybean? Lets see, boycott palm oil because of the destruction of the Borneo Rainforest and support 10 times the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil? You do the maths. Want to truly save the planet? You should instead challenge yourself to avoid almost all vegetable oils instead of specifically demonising palm oil. Thirdly, it is true that large swathes of the Borneo Rainforest has been cleared - but the truth is that these swathes have been cleared for timber logging long before palm oil plantations sprouted in Borneo - and as unfortunate as that is, the plantations mostly came after that to put cleared forest lands to productive use, feeding thousands of otherwise jobless and destitute locals. In fact, did you know that in Malaysia Borneo, the rate of reforestration is exceeding the rate of deforestration?


02/15/2015 - 2:48am

YES, I avoid all foods that contain palm oil! I am disgusted by the fact that even though 80% of the rain forest of Borneo has been cut down to make the notorious oil palm plantations, it is still in 50% of ALL PACKAGED GOODS! At the current rate of destruction, all of the rain forest will be COMPLETELY GONE in ONE DECADE!!! DO THE WORLD A FAVOR AND CUT PALM OIL OUT OF YOUR LIFE!!!

- 2 years without palm oil, 12 years


12/20/2014 - 2:08pm

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