How to Change the World by What We Buy

How to Change the World by What We Buy
December 3, 2018 Christina Mullin

As a consumer, be informed about products that contain palm oil. You might not cook with it, but you would be surprised about how many food products contain palm oil, and many of them aren’t clearly labeled. Below, I’ve posted a list of the palm oil derivatives.

Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet, and it is in about half of all packaged products sold in the supermarket. While palm oil is the most efficient source of vegetable oil, its rapid expansion threatens some of the planets most important and sensitive habitats.

Palm oil grows in tropical rainforests, and the uncontrolled clearing of these forests by conventional palm oil plantations has led to widespread loss of these irreplaceable and biodiverse rich forests. Plantations have also been connected to the destruction of habitat of endangered species, including orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos.

The following is a list for palm oil and its derivatives, as they appear under many names:

Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hyrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol.


Did you know that palm oil can be produced in a responsible manner that respects the environment and the communities where it is commonly grown.

Look for the RSPO label to ensure you purchase products made with certified sustainable palm oil. This label gives you the confidence that the palm oil was produced in a socially and environmentally responsible way.

Can’t find the RSPO label? Look for the Green Palm label. This label indicates products in support of the transition to certified palm oil. Proceeds from Green Palm certificates help growers fund the transition to sustainable palm oil.

Most packaged products are labeled with their companies’ contact information. How are your favorite brands doing in the quest for sustainable palm oil? Call or write the company and urge them to use certified sustainable palm oil.


On another note, did you know that more than half of the palm oil imported into Europe goes into diesel fuel.The European Union required vegetable oils to be added to diesel because it was considered to be a renewable resource, but in fact it is three times as bad as the fossil diesel because of land use change emissions. It’s been a disaster for rainforests and wildlife

 A law was passed in the European Parliament recognizing the harm it is doing, but the European Commission opposed the palm oil phaseout and the Indonesian and Malaysian governments are busy lobbying.

Join me in signing the SumOfUs petition to stop subsidizing palm oil biodiesel: