Grocery shopping without palm oil: it's really possible

Grocery shopping without palm oil: it's really possible

That we need to reduce palm oil consumption, we already know. But once in front of the supermarket shelf, it's quite a challenge to find palm oil-free products. We'll give you a hand with tips for a palm oil-free shopping basket.

What's the problem with palm oil anyway?

Palm oil is present in almost all products you consume and use daily. From peanut butter and butter to shampoo and detergent (more on that later). The oil has a positive effect on the structure and effectiveness of a product: it makes peanut butter smooth, butter spreadable, and shampoo foamy. Moreover, it's a cheap raw material that is relatively easy to grow and requires little. Then what's the problem?

To meet the global demand for this popular "miracle oil," large areas of rainforest must make way for palm oil plantations. While we desperately need the rainforest for biodiversity on our planet and CO2 absorption. And not unimportantly: the rainforest is the habitat of indigenous species, such as the orangutan. Due to the construction of plantations, they are displaced and put in jeopardy. So, that smooth jar of peanut butter leaves a bitter taste.

But banning palm oil is not the solution because no sustainable alternatives have been found for this vegetable oil. Read our palm oil statement for this. What does help is drastically reducing the demand for palm oil so that no more plantations are needed. And you can help with that by buying fewer products with palm oil.

Palm oil-free products & brands

You can't avoid palm oil in the supermarket. You'll see that almost every product you take off the shelves contains palm oil. Unless you're in front of Marcel's Green Soap shelf because our range of palm oil-free products is growing. We were the first in the Netherlands to launch palm oil-free liquid detergent. Since then, more palm oil-free gems have been added, such as our deodorant sticks, shampoo and conditioner bars, dishwasher tablets, and fabric softener. Fortunately, besides Marcel's Green Soap, there are other palm oil-free products & brands to be found in the supermarket, such as:

  • The Flower Farm: palm oil-free hazelnut spread, peanut butter, and butter
  • De Pindakaaswinkel: palm oil-free peanut butter
  • Tony Chocolonely & Hands Off My Chocolate: palm oil-free chocolate
  • Mister Kitchen: palm oil-free pizza bases, pizza sauces, and more
  • Nakd & Farm Brothers: palm oil-free cookies
  • Ben & Jerry’s: palm oil-free ice cream

Other tips for a palm oil-free life

  • Buy as many fresh and unprocessed products as possible. These do not contain palm oil.
  • Many of your favorite snacks, sauces, and spreads can also be made at home! Homemade products are often palm oil-free and even tastier.
  • Avoid using biofuels. Despite the name, biofuel is not as environmentally friendly as you might think. Half of all palm oil imported into Europe ends up as biofuel. The most sustainable means of transport remains the bicycle! Walking is also a great option.
  • Check the label of the products you buy carefully. This indicates whether palm oil is included. To make it easy for consumers (not), dozens of terms are unfortunately used for palm oil...

Different names for palm oil

Palm oil has many different names, which can be misleading for consumers. When you see something with 'palm' on the label (palmate, palmitate, palmitic, palmityl, etc.), you can be sure it comes from a palm oil plantation. Other terms include: SodiumKernelate, Tetrapeptide-3, GlycerylStearate, Stearic Acid, and Elaeis Guineensis.
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