Going palm oil free
Is it possible to completely avoid palm oil?


OK – palm oil is everywhere but I keep coming back to chocolate. Perhaps in the same way that my focus on saving orangutans is focusing on just one charismatic indicator species of a larger problem (mass extinctions, from climate change and human induced habitat loss), then chocolate is my “charismatic indicator species” of the palm oil issue.

We all love chocolate and I’m no exception. Many of the bigger brands are known to contain palm oil, and though the companies are paying lip service to sustainability that doesn’t alter the fact that our infamous ingredient is there. These include the brands I have mentioned before: Nestle (including KitKat), Mars and Cadbury.

Decisions based on palm oil contact become harder to make when we are not thinking about just slabs of chocolate. What about a chocolate cake or biscuit? Well, the processed packaged versions are probably sold by the bigger food companies already mentioned. And biscuit companies … the biscuit is just as likely to contain palm oil anyway. No blanket answers here but the companies are probably researchable.

But other things? Bakery cakes and chocolate items? Well that just depends on the bakery. Supermarket bakeries and large corporations should be approachable to let us know. But my own eateries of choice (and this is my challenge, if I ever decide I can start it) are Sainsbury’s and Starbucks who are both yet to answer me on the issue.

And chocolate in things? Icings? Sugars? Frappuccinos?

This post is going to leave more questions than answers. An assurance from the Sainsburys and Starbucks of this world is really needed.

There are brands which are proudly palm oil free which deserve a mention. Green and Blacks started off as an organic independed brand, proudly palm oil free, chocolate quite gorgeous, and a fraction of their profits donated to the Orangutan Foundation. The downside – they are now owned by Cadbury!

Chokolit - orangutan design

Chokolit - orangutan design

Chokolit http://www.chokolit.com has no such dilemma – palm oil free and proud. Let’s end the post on a positive. Over the past month I have probably consumed one example from every form of chocolate I mentioned above: keeping on top of palm oil in chocolate can range from difficult to impossible. Eventually we want everything containing chocolate and more to be certified free of palm oil or unsustainable palm oil, but until then there is chokolit.

One Response to “Chocolate”

  1. If you are not happy about a product containing Palm Oil, then maybe as a consumer you should voice your concerns, phone write, email them. That may be the only way to create change.
    For Cadbury’s website for contacting them here is a list: http://www.cadbury.com/Pages/ContactUsNew.aspx

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