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

Palm oil free attempt

I’ve blogged about lots of palm oil related issues so far. But I haven’t tried to do yet what I set out to do. Can I go palm oil free for a week?

Here’s the deal – I’m a working man in his thirties, and my family consists just of me and my wife (and dogs/cat …) I can cook, but I am busy and work every day, so I have a mix of fresh and convenience foods every week. Probably fairly representative of a shopping budget at least for a couple without children.

So did I go palm oil free? The worst thing is, I can’t say yes but I can’t say no. All I can say is “probably not”.

Let’s start with the good bits …

Bread – by buying all fresh and bakery made from Sainsbury’s. I have avoided palm oil as contained in Hovis, Warburtons and other major packaged breads. At least, I assume I have

Snacks – you would think that crisps are palm oil candidates but Walkers “Baked” range are free from palm oil. And switching from sausage rolls to gorgeous vegetable samosas has ruled out another palm oil source

Fresh food – to reiterate, fresh meat and vegetables are always going to be palm oil free when processed meals may well not be

Chicken kievs(!) – a small category here, but recently I tweeted about the palm oil content in Sainsbury’s diet Chicken Kievs. It seems that the new flavour, cheese and ham, is palm oil free though!

Cereal – though palm oil is present in many cereals, as far as I can tell it is not present in simple non-sweet basic cereals such as Weetabix, Bran Flakes or Oat Flakes.

Sauces – watch out for these, as highly processed foodstuffs there are a lot containing palm oil. But the tomato based sauces I bought for my pasta are apparently palm oil free.

Yoghurt – though I’m not sure this can be said for all yoghurt, it seems Muller Light is palm oil free.

And the bad bits …

Pizza – it seems that all the pizzas on offer, fresh or frozen, all contain palm oil as an ingredient in the base. Now I *think* Domino’s is palm oil free as mentioned in an earlier post. So for my pizza fix it may need to be a more expensive takeout

Margarine – this week I didn’t need to buy any. But I’m really struggling to find a palm oil free brand. Any suggestions?

Pasta – I love to buy fresh filled pasta, but found to my horror this week that the tortelloni at Sainsbury’s contains palm oil, disaster!

Cereal – the other person on my shopping list prefers a sweet, more processed cereal, and there is mention of vegetable oil in the ingredients. Palm oil? Probably, yes. Kellogg’s, for it is you, please have the decency to at least tell me.

Tortillas – the only pre-packaged bread product I bought, for my weekly fajita fix. The ingredients did mention a vegetable oil again.

Garlic bread – the butter in all the pre-packaged garlic bread I could find all contained palm oil. The only version that doesn’t contains cheese rather than butter.

Washing powder – is there palm oil in my washing powder, or shampoo for that matter? I have no idea – they are both made by huge parent brands who are found on my black list. The labelling for either product gives no clues at all.

It’s clear that going palm oil free takes a lot of research, label reading and guesswork. We need information more readliy available to cut down on all of these elements.

Another reason I was able to reduce palm oil consumption in this week’s trolley was because there were very few treats in there. Chocolate, Jaffa Cakes, muffins, could all have upped the likelihood of palm oil content. But if I do want muffins I know to go right here …

Magog Muffins – for informative well-written site promoting palm oil free muffins

I think a palm oil week will be possible but requiring a certain amount of sacrifice …

15 Responses to “Palm oil free attempt”

  1. Why would anyone want to go Palm oil free? It is one of the highest saturated fats out there and therefore has great benefits!

    • Erm perhaps because palm oil causes the destruction of rain forests and kills monkeys and orangutans in the process? Wake up!

    • i guess you know by now…….palm oil production..cuts and burns forests to grow it, thereby hurting the environment, adding to global warming and killing the orangutans who live in the forests in Indonesia and Malaysia.

  2. palm oil free margerine is easy….Butter
    if you want it spreadable you’ll have to go for Kerrygold as all the others contain vegetable oil which probably means palm oil (even the ones that masquerade as olive oil spreads contain this).

    • @ Brazil 123

      Benefits? clogged arteries? Heart failure? Your choice, but the problem is we are getting little choice, as it is put into so much of our processed foods and toiletries.

      Just visit any part of Borneo and watch the destruction of rainforest at first hand, and talk to the conservationists about the disappearing habitats of orang-utans, pygmy elephants and thousands of rare species. All to give us “smoother” chocolate, “gentler” soap and oilier cereals.

      I don’t know if your name reveals you are from Brazil, but if so you should be well aware of the destruction of rainforest by big corporations. There’s only so much of it, and it is reducing every year. There is only a small proportion of palm oil that is produced sustainably, nowhere near enough to cover all the really unnecessary uses humans put it to.

      The author of the blois right – it’s hard to go palm oil free, but we ought to try.


      Losely butter is spreadable and palm oil free as well, and so I think is Anchor, from New Zealand. Losely only has to travel from Cumbria, and is delicious.

  3. Yes, there probably is palm oil in washing powder and your shampoo. I haven’t yet “done” household products in my own search to go palm oil free (it’s on my to do list) but I have “done” shampoo. Elemis (you can buy their products on-line) tell me all their products are palm oil free, they assure me that even the usual ingredients which can be derivatived from palm oil (like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) have been derived from other vegetable oils. Also Lush are the only UK soapy things manufacturer who have pledged to go totally palm oil free. All their soap bases are palm oil free and where they use palm oil (in minute quantities) at the moment, they say they will be eradicating it’s use in the future as they are working on new formulations. Their staff are well versed in what does and does not contain palm oil so you can be sure when buying from them.

  4. Just wanted to let you know that having written to Muller, they have confirmed that the whole Muller range of products is free from palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Yay for my favourite Muller Crunch Coners.

  5. Have also had a reply from L’occitane. All their products are palm oil free, apart from shea butter products. So easy to avoid those.
    Dermalogica have confirmed that “Dermalogica® does use Palm Oil within some of our products. The Palm Oil used within our product formulations is of a synthetic nature and is manufactured within a laboratory. Listed as Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters on our product packaging, it is derived from Safflower Oil.” Don’t really understand that. Can anyone shed any light?

    Will keep trying to find out ingredients! Went to Lush, but their shampoos smell very dodgy… not a fan at all!

  6. I have the dermalogica night clearning gel and I noticed it seems to make me break out at first.Is this common?To break out at first then your pimples go away..or should I just stop using it?I heard the dermalogica stuff is really good so I want to keep giving it a try but not if its just going to make me break out.What should I do?

  7. Hi regarding soap, Lush’s are all palm oil free, and re washing powders dri-pak liquid soap flakes are also palm oil free & not tested on animals, it’s available from waitrose, tesco & online 🙂
    Rachell x

  8. Hi,
    I have been doing a similar thing, check out my videos, i talk about cleaning products and shampoos, plus a range of other everyday items.

  9. I’ve recently been trying to buy products which do not have palm oil in them. Do you know any reliable websites which have lists of products which are palm oil free.

  10. Hi. I’m with you on this palm oil free thing. As a fitness professional, along wit regular exercise of course, I also normally try to eat healthily and know that palm oil is a massive red flag. I have also noticed that it has crept into so many products these days that it’s getting difficult to eat. I used to enjoy chicken fajitas as as one of my ‘guilty weekend pleasures’, but have noticed that the tortilla wraps have palm oil in them :-(. I managed to get around this to a degree by buying the ‘Lebanese flat breads’ (from Morrisons) – they’re not the same, but hey. Whilst I was there I also managed to find out that Morrisons own brand wholemeal bread is one of the only packaged breads NOT to contain palm oil. It’s the lowest priced too. Though yeah, the margarine thing is a bit concerning – I’ve recently moved back to butter because they all seem to be full of it.
    I also don’t know what I’m going to do at Xmas though – all the desserts I’d love to eat seem to be rammed full of palm oil (chocolate log etc.). Anyway, hope you can buy Morrisons bread. Keep Truckin’ and have a palm-oil free Merry Christmas.

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