What is Palm Oil?
Palm Oil is an edible vegetable oil. It comes from the fruit of oil palm trees (Elaeis guineensis).
There are two types of oil produced: – crude palm oil, from crushing the fleshy fruit. And palm kernel oil, from crushing the stone in the middle of the fruit.
Oil palm trees are native to Africa but were brought to South-East Asia around 100 years ago. Indonesia and Malaysia make up over 85% of global supply, with at least 42 other countries producing palm oil.
More about Palm Oil
Palm oil is in more than half of all packaged products in the USA – it’s found in lipstick, soaps, pizza, doughnuts, detergents, chocolate, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste and even ice cream. In some parts of the world it is used in animal feed and as a biofuel. Palm oil is a semi-solid at room temperature; it can give products a longer shelf-life, as its resistant to oxidation; it’s stable at high temperatures giving more crisp and crunch to fried foods; and it’s odourless and colourless so doesn’t alter the look or smell of products.
Global production of and demand for palm oil is growing rapidly. Plantations are spreading all over Asia, Africa and South America. Palm oil is a very, very efficient crop, producing more oil per land area than any other equivalent vegetable oil crop. Palm oil supplies 40% of the world’s vegetable oil on just under 6% of the land. Palm oil produces 3.3 tonnes/ per hectare (t/ha) compared to just 0.7t/ha for coconut, sunflower and rapeseed.
Palm oil continues to be a major driver of deforestation, destroying the habitat of already endangered species and a lifeline for some human communities. The loss of all these trees along with the conversion of carbon rich peat soils are contributing to climate change. Another point to consider is the exploitation of workers and child labour.
Benefits of Palm Oil
Anit Cancer & Anti-inflammatory Properties of Palm Oil
Supports Healthy Pregnancy with large quantities of Vitamin A, D, and E – Saturated fatty acid abundant in palm oil is distributed in human breast milk.
Increases shelf life of food items
Palm oil good for blood pressure
Palm Oil Improves Vision
Palm oil for skin lightening treatment
Disadvantages of palm oil
Saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels – clog the arteries – cardiac arrest
environmental hazard – major cause of global warming – changes in the climatic conditions
Killing off endangered species with deforestation
Oxidised palm oil is a greater health risk – generates toxins that adversely affect the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs.
Not good to use if you have blood clots ot use medicine to reduce blod clots.
Is palm oil poison?