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

Kellogg’s Special K

One of the hardest things about watching for palm oil content is labelling – I have often posted about how palm oil can be labelled just “vegetable oil” in some cases.

What seems to be the worst case of labelling is in Kellogg’s cereals. The Independent’s black list mentions Kellogg’s, and specifically Special K, and I have blogged about this before. But I don’t want to leave this here. It’s one thing to be passionate about the environmental concerns about palm oil, but very unfair to think that we can make informed choices and be deceived by inaccurate or misleading claims.

A representative of Kellogg’s advised me today when I asked about palm oil content that all ingredient queries can be answered at this number 0800 626 066. I shall be calling them tomorrow. It’s a free number in the UK, so I would advise as many people as possible who care about this issue to do the same, let’s see if a little annoyance can get some clear answers.

To be clear, the ingredients stated on Special K are (according to Wikipedia, but they look very familiar to me, although I no longer eat it …)

Rice, wheat (wholeheat, wheat flour), sugar, wheat gluten, dried skimmed milk, salt, defatted wheatgerm, barley malt flavouring, vitamin C, niacin, iron, vitamin B6, riboflavin (B2), thiamin (B1), folic acid, vitamin D, vitamin B12

As always seems to be the case, ingredients in the US, Canada and Australia are a little different and it is the UK I am investigating, but I don’t think differences are major. And until Kellogg’s answer me, I have an open mind. I’m prepared to admit that as there is so clearly nothing vaguely resembling palm oil in the list, that perhaps their place on the black list is wrong. But I don’t have a good feeling about this. In the event any readers have already approached Kellogg’s or have more information on this, please comment or let me know.

In the interest of fairness, here’s a small Kellogg’s logo – I’ll make it fill the page if they can prove me wrong and tell me there is no palm oil, just like the ingredients say.

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3 Responses to “Kellogg’s Special K”

  1. I looked at the Kellogg’s website (USA): RICE, WHEAT GLUTEN, SUGAR, DEFATTED WHEAT GERM, SALT, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, DRIED WHEY, MALT FLAVORING, CALCIUM CASEINATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), ALPHA TOCOPHEROL ACETATE (VITAMIN E), REDUCED IRON, NIACINAMIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), VITAMIN A PALMITATE, FOLIC ACID AND VITAMIN B12.

    HOWEVER – if you look at some of the other varieties, they do list palm oil – Chocolatey Delight and Fruit & Yogurt. It’s probably in anything that needs to coat smoothly. It’s interesting to see the subtle difference in ingredients between different countries!

    I avoid big brands as much as possible and try to find smaller, hopefully more-caring companies. Luckily in the US we have Trader Joe’s which has lots of great cereals, breads, etc.

    Even so, I don’t have faith that any labels are fully accurate & there are so many loopholes it’s not funny. I love the way products can now claim, “NO MSG!” But they still contain hydrolyzed or autolyzed yeast products – which is where MSG comes from!

  2. Hi I know this is a bit late and maybe irrelevant… but in the comment above the ingredients don’t list palm oil but ‘vitamin A palmitate’ is listed! This is also derived from palm oil. Some things list ‘ascorbyl palmitate’ which is also easy to gloss over without realising 😦
    Also in another post I read, I noticed that you said you thought supermarket fresh bakery bread is ok – it’s not, most fresh baked bread has palm oil in, I’ve asked.
    Sorry to be pernickety but I thought you’d like to know! 🙂

  3. My wife is sensitive to Palm oil and getting more sensitive! We have a box of Rice Krispies which does not list Vitamin A but Wikipedia lists it as an ingredient. The UK Kellogg website does not list it, but she is starting to bloat and it started three hours after eating the aforementioned product. We are now making our own bread, biscuits, cakes (no margarine!) dried fruit sourced with no palm oil glazing agent. So its not just the environmental aspects. Are companies hiding the horrible stuff? Vitamin A’ well that sounds nice and healthy! I wonder how many more people are suffering without realizing the cause of their discomfort. We are also label readers, experience has shown if it’s cheap, ‘healthy’ ‘low fat’ or it says vegetable oil or vegetable fat then we have to avoid it. It has taken along time to identify the culprit, as it nearly in every food stuff you are likely to buy, especially if it has been processed in any way. The lack of consistent, honest labeling, by the food industry has turned our lives into a long running nightmare. Eating out in any restaurant becomes a challenge. We are very grateful so far she is not allergic to it!


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