Dangerous hidden vegetable oil 【Palm oil】
1. What is Palm Oil ?
Oil from the pulp (fruit)of oil palm (Elaeis). It is different from coconut.
By the way, the oil that can be obtained from the seeds of oil palm is called palm kernel oil, which is also different.
Oil palm, which grows in hot and humid environments, was originally produced in West Africa and Latin America, but as demand has increased, it has also been produced in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Although it is a vegetable oil, half of it is filled with long-chain fatty acids (palmitic acid, stearic acid), so it is a semi-solid oil that is very stable and difficult to oxidize.
|Main fatty acids||Palmitic acid|
|Cooking||High temperature heating OK|
|Storage method||Dark and cool place|
|Taste / Aroma / Texture||Tasteless, odorless, semi-solid|
|Fat-soluble vitamins||VitaminE, VitaminK|
2. What is palm oil used for ?
Oil palm, which bears fruit all year round, is said to be 8 to 10 times more productive than other oils and can be purchased cheaply.
Also, as I mentioned above, it is a stable oil that doesn't easily oxidize and is suitable for various processing, so demand is increasing year by year.
What is palm oil used for?
Palm oil used in food
You may rarely see the word palm oil, but if the ingredients in Japanese processed foods say vegetable oil or vegetable oil, most of them are palm oil !
Ingredient labeling is more rigorous overseas, but in Japan it's pretty sloppy, so be careful !
Solid palm oil is used as an alternative to expensive butter to create a melty texture in the mouth, such as chocolate and ice cream, and liquid palm oil is used in instant noodles, snack foods, and frying oils in frozen foods.
Since palm oil doesn't easily generate trans fatty acids, it is also used as a raw material for margarine and shortening to reduce trans fatty acids.
Most of the ingredients such as low trans fatty acid margarine are palm oil !
It's good to get it cheaply, but it's a big mistake to think that margarine is healthier than butter just because it's made from plants !! The fatty acid ratio between butter and palm oil doesn't change much, and if you continue to eat margarine made from palm oil, you will get too much long-chain fatty acids.
Since processed foods contain a lot of invisible palm oil, it is said that people unknowingly consume an average of 4 kg of palm oil annually.
Palm oil contained in non-food products
Most of the surfactants used in soaps and detergents and the glycerin used in cosmetics are made from palm oil !!
These surfactants and glycerin are also called naturally derived products and are also used as natural cosmetics, so if you choose them properly, they are good for the skin.
However, there are petroleum-derived surfactants and glycerin other than palm oil, which is more problematic in terms of health!
3. Why Palm Oil is Dangerous and Problems
Problems caused by using palm oil
Global environmental problems
Oil palm grows only in the hot and humid tropics. So in order for us to grow oil palm, we have to clear the rainforest and secure land.
In Borneo, tropical rainforests and peat swamp forests, which are said to have remained unchanged for more than 15 million years, have disappeared by 40% in the last 50 years due to oil palm cultivation.
Therefore, wild animals that used to live in the rainforest are in danger of extinction.
In some cases, elephants and orangutans have entered the oil palm cultivated area and are treated as vermin and captured or killed.
Problems caused by not using palm oil
Palm oil has many problems, but it doesn't mean that you should avoid palm oil and use other oils.
I said that palm oil is a highly productive oil, but if you change the palm oil currently used all over the world to another oil, the oil productivity will be worse, so we need more land than now. Anyway, it will lead to deforestation.
4. How to improve the problem of palm oil ?
I mentioned that it doesn't make sense to just change palm oil to another oil, but I hope that the demand for oil will be reduced to solve this problem even a little.
・Do not buy processed foods or sweets labeled as vegetable oil
Palm oil is an oil that contains a large amount of long-chain fatty acids and produces carcinogens by heating. Therefore, it isn't a good oil to take too much from the viewpoint of health.
Check the ingredients and buy one that has the correct type of oil as much as possible.
・Cook more homemade and eat a small amount of good quality oil
If you reduce the purchase of processed foods and sweets and make them handmade, you will be able to grasp the raw materials yourself.
・Detergents are unexpectedly unnecessary
There are various detergents such as laundry detergent, toilet detergent, bath cleaning detergent, etc., but except for those that are very dirty, they can be cleaned with just water !
Occasionally try to make a day without detergent ^ ^
・Using RSPO certified palm oil is also an option
『Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil』
Certification that indicates that palm oil and palm oil products are manufactured in compliance with established sustainable farms, oil extraction, manufacturing, processing, distribution, and other standards. So it may be a little good to use these products. I think so please give it a try!
Introducing various other edible oils!
Please read them if you are interested^ ^