Mississippi readers were given valuable tips for shopping for, preparing and storing food more sustainably when registered dietitian nutritionist Felicia Stoler talked to the Jackson Free Press. Stoler shared simple ideas for reducing food waste, and explained why we should feel more confident about buying and consuming products made with Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil.

Stoler states, “Everyone talks about sustainability, but what does that mean? We can all take more responsibility by making simple changes. Some of these tips may even save you money.”

Among her recommendations:

  • Use everything in your vegetable drawer. “I make soups and stews with whatever’s left in the refrigerator … I also freeze my fruit, so I nearly always have something on hand for smoothies.”
  • Support your local farmers whenever possible. “If their farms go out of business, they’ll probably become homes, shopping centers and office buildings. Think about the economic cost and carbon footprint if that happens.”
  • Know when to ignore the hype. “…  you’re going to see palm oil on a lot more product labels because it’s a healthier alternative to trans fats. Some people would have you believe that palm oil production is causing deforestation and killing off animals. The truth is that most of our palm oil comes from Malaysia, where it is sustainably sourced and manufactured. The truth is that if you boycott palm oil, there would be more soy-, rapeseed- (canola) and sunflower-oil production. These all use more resources than palm. Plus, when you examine land usage for food cultivation, you’ll find that beef and soybeans cause more environmental destruction than palm.”

Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil is an ingredient in many popular products, including the Smart Balance line of peanut butters and spreads, and microwavable popcorn.

Most of the palm oil imported into the U.S. comes from Malaysia. In fact Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil is probably in your diet because it is an ingredient in many of our everyday prepared foods. Malaysian palm oil is the world’s first sustainable vegetable oil. The country has strengthened its commitment by implementing a nationwide Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification program. Achieving MSPO became mandatory as of 2020, and the country is working toward 100% compliance.

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Editor’s note: Felicia Stoler is a member of Media Relations Inc.’s panel of highly respected third-party experts. She is compensated to express his/her own professional opinions, through the media, about certain products.


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