This post was originally published on July 5, 2017 and updated on March 30, 2020.
Read the ingredient label on your kids’ favorite food and there’s a good chance it contains palm oil. It’s the world’s most widely consumed vegetable oil, estimated to be in half of our packaged foods. Leading companies such as Kellogg’s, Ferrero and General Mills depend on this versatile oil to produce great-tasting and nutritious products. And moms-in-the-know prefer snacks made with Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil. Here’s why:
1. Palm oil is naturally free of harmful trans fats and rich with vitamin E tocotrienols. Today’s moms realize that the low-fat craze wasn’t based in science. Fats are an important part of a healthy diet. But all fats aren’t the same. Smart moms avoid factory-made partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) which are known to increase heart disease risk. Natural fats such as coconut, olive and palm oil are a better choice because they are free of PHO’s harmful trans fats. Palm oil is unique because it is loaded with vitamin E tocotrienols. These ultra-potent antioxidants support skin, heart, liver and brain health.
2. Malaysian palm oil is always non-GMO. Many families are trying to eat foods closer to how they are found in nature. But that can be a challenge when it comes to edible oils because almost all of the canola, soybean and corn grown in the United States (more than 90 percent!) come from genetically modified seeds. Thankfully, all palm oil is non-GMO.
3. Most palm oil used in the United States is produced responsibly in Malaysia. Most American manufacturers prefer Malaysian palm oil because it is grown and produced responsibly. The country has strict standards in place which protect the environment as well as the palm oil industry workers. The country’s own sustainability certification, Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) is emerging as an international symbol of quality.
4. Palm oil puts less stress on the environment than other edible oils. Palm oil, as the name implies, comes from the fruit of a tropical palm tree. This specific species of tree grows in tropical Malaysia and produces bountiful quantities of oil-rich fruit for 25 years. Workers simply pick the fruit, which grows in bunches weighing up to 80 pounds, and extract the oil. The yields are incredible. A one-acre oil palm plantation produces 11 times more oil than a soybean field, 10 times more than sunflower and 7 times more than canola. And with the oil palm, there’s no need to waste resources with annual replanting.
Today’s moms care about the snacks they feed their families. And when they see palm oil on the label, they know it’s a quality, nutritious and responsibly produced ingredient.
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