MEDIA BUZZ: My recent appearance on Portland, Oregon’s KUIK radio show, Everyday Cooking, gave me the chance to talk about Malaysian sustainable palm oil’s potential to help raise the next generation using healthier, more sustainable ingredients. I’ve lived all over the world, from the Caribbean to Europe and Asia. My culinary experiences on various continents have reinforced my belief that cooking with palm oil is good for us and the planet.
This is the time of year when I really enjoy outdoor grilling. And as viewers in Texas found out, palm oil works far better on the grill than olive oil. The problem with olive oil is it starts to break down and become carcinogenic at high heats. Palm oil has a much higher smoke point. That makes it a much healthier alternative.
One of my culinary passions is sustainability. I helped found a non-profit organization called PassionFish, which helps raise people’s conscientiousness about their food decisions. I feel good about teaching others to use Malaysian sustainable palm oil. As recently reported in the Christian Science Monitor, Malaysia takes care of its animals. The country also dedicates more than 50 percent of its land to conservation and habitat preservation. In contrast, the United States only preserves about four percent of its land.
Palm oil also has incredible health benefits. It is the most abundant source of tocotrienols. It’s high in vitamin A and vitamin E. It’s also great for brain health, as I shared with Portlanders in another radio segment.
Be adventurous in the way you use Malaysian palm oil. You can create a quick and easy soup, such as the one I demonstrated for Albany viewers. During my Portland radio interview, I recommended one of my favorites: oven fries prepared with Malaysian palm oil and sweet potatoes. The high heat intensifies palm oil’s buttery flavor. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, sprinkle a little sea salt on it and my kids are heaven. Malaysian sustainable palm oil really helps support our healthy lifestyle.
Chef Gerard Viverito, is an culinary instructor as the Director of Culinary Education for Passionfish, a NGO non-profit organization dedicated to educating people around the globe on the issue of sustainability in the seas. He is also operator of Saveur Fine Catering.