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My palm oil-free week

Lucy Buchholz pledges to have a week without the ingredient that's destroying our planet

Eurgh, palm oil. It's responsible for the destruction of our rainforests, which contributes to global warming and has rendered thousands of orangutans homeless, orphaned or dead. Yet approximately 50 per cent of products found in supermarkets contain palm oil – from the food we eat, to the toiletries we use every day. More of us are trying to ditch palm oil, but retailers still manage to sneak it into their products by using one of its 170 aliases. But why is an oil that’s damaging our environment so popular? It’s simple – it’s incredibly versatile. Palm oil can be processed to create a wide range of products with different consistencies, characteristics and melting points, so we can do pretty much anything with it, from smearing it on our skin, to spreading it on our toast. I’ve heard the phrase ‘palm oil is in EVERYTHING’ so many times I’ve taken it as gospel – but I decided to challenge this, and see if I could live without the seemingly vital oil for one whole week.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Be Kind - Mar/Apr 2019
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