This post was originally published on March 30, 2017 and updated on August 17,2020.
You’re probably grocery shopping differently than you did five or ten years ago. More of us are reading more food labels as we search for products that are less processed and have higher nutritional value. One ingredient that you may be seeing more of – it may be included in your favorite non-GMO snack – is Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil. Not only is this lightly processed oil non-GMO, it’s loaded with vitamin E tocotrienols and pro-vitamin A carotenoids.
Americans are becoming warier of food technology
Consuming foods that are closer to how they are found in nature is becoming a goal for many of Americans. According to this study, 54 percent of us now believe that foods produced with biotechnology or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may pose a health risk. That’s up significantly from 47 percent who thought this way last year.
GMO labeling is coming to a package near you
In July 2016, the U.S government responded by passing a law requiring food companies to identify products which contain ingredients produced with GMOs. The food industry estimates that 75 to 80 percent of foods contain GMOs, mainly foods with engineered corn or soy products. According to the USDA, more than 90 percent of America’s soybean and corn crops are genetically modified.
The new law doesn’t specify when the new labels will become mandatory – the USDA has two years to finalize the regulations – but some international companies, such as those which use non-GMO Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil instead of the more common edible oils, are already proudly identifying their products as GMO-free.
Malaysian palm oil is a nutrient-rich fruit oil
Palm oil comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree. Squeezing the fruit releases a pure, red oil. Its processing is similar to olive oil. But unlike many other edible oils, palm oil is brimming with nutrients. The tocotrienols it contains have been credited with supporting neurological and liver health, reducing the risk of cataract formation and improving bone density. Palm oil’s carotenoids support skin health and strengthen the immune system. Knowing this, it’s no wonder that food manufacturers are including this healthy oil in their better-for-you products.
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