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

Day 36 – ASKing questions, being selfish – and the Eden Project

It seems that a palm oil free diet is not too bad if you can be selfish. Cook all your meals and bake all your bread fresh at home. Turn down anything you’re offered (and it’s always the nice stuff – cakes, biscuits, chocolate …) and only eat what you have vetted, or what you have asked someone to cook for you. It’s depressing, but doable.

This is a late post, but it concerns Mothers’ Day ten days ago. Short of asking my mother to feast on a bargain bucket at palm-oil free KFC, how can a grateful son be selfish and avoid a meal out on Mothers’ Day? A few days ahead of the day, I decided to visit the ASK restaurant (Mums eat free, I might be a kind son but I know a good deal …) and e-mailed ahead to find out their palm oil policy. The Sunday came and went, and I had to just eat and hope.

Now ASK have eventually replied to my e-mails, and have explained that all their ingredients come from different suppliers. They will answer whether individual ingredients contain palm oil, but only if I narrow it down to what particular dishes I am interested in. At least ASK are being co-operative and will answer my questions eventually, or so they say. I suspect I may have transgressed that day though. And I am yet to get a categorical answer. Spot the irony there …

On to better news and a plug for somewhere I have never been but would love to visit. My parents have recently returned from Cornwall and the Eden Project. Apparently there was not a biscuit to be found – the staff muttered something about palm oil and the fact that they couldn’t guarantee any biscuits would be palm oil free so none were served! Great work, Eden Project, and great work Lone Droscher Nielsen of BOS Global who had given a powerful presentation on her work with orangutans earlier in the year. Backing up their stance on palm oil were these photos.

Palm oil and the orangutan – but if you see the photo in full size please NB the website typo, please check out instead http://www.forestsfororangutans.org

palm oil

Palm oil use at Eden


6 Responses to “Day 36 – ASKing questions, being selfish – and the Eden Project”

  1. I visited the eden project a couple of years ago. When I entered the resturaunt I was pleased to see the signs of palm oil free in the resturaunt, but was then very confused when I reached the front of the queue to see that flora was on offer. There was no-one to speak to so I wrote to inquire as to this apparent contradiction.

    I was highly suprised to get a very rapid and apologetic response, stating that all the signs had been removed and they were very sorry for misleading me.

    If I’m honest it really wasnt the intention, I dont see why they cannot stock non palm oil butter (for instance natural butter). However I was rather amused how much effect my quick email had, and somewhat disappointed that an educational venue like the eden project, had not thought of this themselves.

    Ive been trying to avoid palm oil, but most supermarkets either dont know or arent interested in helping on this

    • Supermarkets do know about it. They delibarately avoid labelling “palm oil” and making it clear because they profit from the poor education and lack of choice of customers.

      You might call this ignorance engineering – maintain your customer in a constant state of bewiledered confusion, and they will believe that celery grows in December, that a mix of sugar and water is a “sauce” and is good for you, and that palm oil plantations, two years after the locals have been driven away from their homes, has magically become sustainable.

  2. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but aren’t KFC getting criticism for being responsible for rainforest destruction in Indonesia through their packaging. Greenpeace have done a big thing on it 😦 They may not be using palm oil but they are still contributing to the destruction of the same rain forests that palm oil does therefore negative impact on orangutans etc 😦

  3. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp of the fruit of the oil palms, primarily the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, and to a lesser extent from the American oil palm Elaeis oleifera and the maripa palm Attalea maripa.

    Palm oil Indonesia

  4. Hi, love your blog and love what you’re doing! Thank you so much!!!

  5. There is no such thing as ‘sustainable’ palm oil, ROSPA is corrupt and IS the palm oil industry, and the ONLY way to save the rainforests is to stop eating palm oil completely, and let the companies who still insist on using it know that you no longer buy their products.

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