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

Chicken Kievs

This blog was originally about how it would be possible, if at all, to go for a week or so without using palm oil. Ostensibly, that’s probably not too difficult, if all food (for example bread) is fresh, all ingredients locally sourced, and processed foods are ignored. Cosmetics and detergents are a different matter, but palm oil in foods can be avoided by careful selection.

However, my lifestyle is not like that. I do, and can, often cook, but reality means that cooking often involves processed branded foods and pre-packaged ingredients, and these are so often the cause of trouble.

Case in point – Sainsbury’s “Be good to yourself” Chicken Kievs. Clearly set out in the ingredients, the constituents are broken down into the chicken, the low fat butter, and the breadcrumbs. Last but not least ingredient in breadcrumbs is palm oil.

Yesterday I was forced due to time and lack of food in the cupboard to head for Tesco for my shopping. I noticed there that Tesco low fat chicken Kievs were there, for the same price, in identical packaging (branding notwithstanding). Surely the same nameless food providers have created the same food in the same factories for the two main supermarkets?

The labelling on the Tesco product is less clear – though it seems to split ingredients into the same constituents of chicken, butter and breadcrumbs, there is no mention of palm oil. Fewer ingredients all round seem to be mentioned, but is there reason to doubt that the full list is not included?

I started this post wanting to rant at Tesco for not labelling their ingredients as clearly as Sainsbury’s. But if Tesco’s have obliged and done so, and there genuinely isn’t palm oil in the product, then this could be a frustrating example of a product that has palm oil from some providers and not with others.

For the record, I ate the said Tesco’s Kievs tonight. I have not bought the Sainsburys ones recently due to the known palm oil content, but they did seem to taste a little different, perhaps they are not the same product after all.

A frustrating example of how own brand products can be different in different supermarkets – if there is something you particularly like and don’t want to remove it from your shopping basket, you may need to shop around. Not good news for those of us who also want to reduce our carbon footprints by reducing our trips to supermarkets. It’s not easy being green …

It's not easy being green!

It's not easy being green!

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