Today’s grocery shoppers are looking for products made with natural ingredients. And they want product labels to clearly identify those ingredients. This led to the U.S. government passing a law requiring the labeling of food products containing genetically modified ingredients. Some food manufacturers are reacting to this law by swapping corn, soybean or canola oil for Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil. Palm oil delivers just what consumers desire: a natural, nutritious and 100 percent non-GMO edible oil.
Here’s what you need to know about this wholesome oil:
- Palm oil comes from a fruit. Palm oil comes from the fruit of the GMO-free oil palm tree, Elaeis guineensis. Squeezing this fruit releases a pure, red oil brimming with vitamin E tocotrienols and antioxidant-rich carotenoids. Palm oil is also naturally trans fat-free. A separate non-GMO oil, palm kernel oil, is derived from the fruit’s seed.
- All Malaysian palm oil is non-GMO. This majestic oil palm tree grows year-round in the tropics where it produces bountiful quantities of oil-rich fruit. Many trees produce fruit for more than 25 years. Any improvements to the trees are the result of traditional breeding selection techniques, not generic modification.
- Palm oil has been used worldwide for generations. Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil in the world. It’s especially popular in countries which mandate GMO labeling such as eco-friendly Malaysia and Brazil.
Many common American cooking oils are genetically modified
Genetically engineered oilseed crops have quickly become the norm in the United States. According to USDA data, GMO soybeans rose from 17 percent of soybean acreage in 1997 to 94 percent in 2015. Today, more than 90 percent of America’s soybean and corn crops are genetically modified.
Other common genetically modified foods in the United States include sugar beets, rice, tomatoes, rapeseed (canola), alfalfa and peas.