The Many Other Names for Palm Oil and Why You Need to Spot it in Your Home

by - Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Many Other Names for Palm Oil and Why You Need to Spot it in your Home

Our planet is hurting. We are seeing destruction everywhere, but the damage to certain regions are especially fatal to our planet. Our rainforests are incredibly precious- they house a huge amount of biodiversity and are central to the fight against Climate Crisis (they absorb so uch CO2). Despite how important these spaces are, rainforests are being cleared to make room for palm oil plantations. This causes the extinction of many species of animals and human rights violations, as indigenous people are forced off their lands.

 Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that can be used for cooking. It has been on the rise in the US because it can be substituted for oils that were adding lots of transfats to foods.

We all desperately need to stop using products with any palm oil. 

Instead, most of us are using more without even realizing it. 

Palm oil is in all sorts of products from toothpaste to cookies to shampoo. Most consumers have lots of palm oil in their home without realizing it is causing any problems at all.

We need to the overuse of palm oil to stop immediately to help these indigenous people, endangered species, and the planet itself. The first step is to understand our own part in the problem and to become aware of all the ways we are consuming palm oil. From there, we can reach out to the people we know to spread awareness, reach out to companies to stop using palm oil, and reach out to the government to put stricter guidelines on using palm oil.

But first, we need a better sense of what we are dealing with. We need to be able to identify palm oil in our products and food. So let's get to it.

Here are some tips to help you look out for palm oil on your labels. It really is everywhere:

Look out for Plastic 

When it comes to food, plastic and palm oil serve the same purpose- they both preserve food past their natural lifetime. Food should rot; the more natural an item is the shorter it's shelf life generally is. Well, if you are Oreo, and you want to ship your food very long distances, you are risking that the cookies will go bad before you get money from them. So palm oil is part of that solution. The more you step away from giant brands and plastic containers, the less you have to worry about palm oil.

Double Check Your Meat Substitutes

This blog is all about getting meat out of diets and eating more vegetarian and vegan meals. That said, if you are shopping for meat substitutes, look closely, because palm oil is commonly used in lots of vegan products.

Start in your Own House

If you are looking to cut out palm oil, start with the products you have already bought. Much of what we buy, from shampoo to peanut butter, is just a replacement for the thing we already have. So the best way to make a change is to identify where you are already using palm oil and start looking for replacements for those things.

Look for the RSPO Label

There is sustainable palm oil, and not sustainable palm oil. When you are checking for ingredients, also check for the RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) label. They just made their guidelines stricter, so you know a product with this palm oil is held to much higher sustainability standards.

Ok, here is a pretty epic list of names for palm oil on packaging:

Other Names for Palm Oil

Elaeis Guineensis
FP(K)O- Fractionated Palm Oil
Etyl Palmitate
Glyceryl Stearate
Hyrated Palm Glycerides
Octyl Palmitate
OPKO- Organix Palm Kernel Oil
PHPKO- Partially Hydrogenated Palm Oil
Palm Kernel
Palmitic Acid
Palm Stearine
PKO – Palm Kernel Oil
PKO fractionations: Palm Kernel Stearin (PKs); Palm Kernel Olein (PKOo)
Palmitoyl Oxostearamide
Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3
Palmityl Alcohol
Sodium dodecyl Sulphate/Sulfate (SDS or NaDS)
Sodium Kernelate
Sodium Laureth Sulphate/Sulfate (Can also be from coconut)
Sodium Lauryl Sulphates/Sulfate (can also be from ricinus oil)
Sodium Palm Kernelate
Stearic Acid

Chemicals that Contain Palm Oil

Steareth -2
Steareth -20
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (coconut and/or palm)
Hydrated palm glycerides
Sodium isostearoyl lactylaye (derived from vegetable stearic acid)

What items with Palm Oil do you still have in your house?

The Many Other Names for Palm Oil and Why You Need to Spot it in Your Home

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