Because of high demand globally for palm oil, Indonesian rainforests are clearcut and burned, contributing to climate change and destroying habitat for orangutans.
It can seem a daunting task to go palm-oil-free. Here’s why: palm oil and its derivatives have a seemingly endless list of alternate terms. Anything with the word ‘palm’ in it is easier to identify (e.g. palm kernel oil, palm fruit oil, palm stearine, palmitate, octyl palmitate, palmitic acid, palmityl alcohol, palmolein, vitamin A palmitate) but some of the more obscure terms are glycerol stearate, vegetable glycerin, and vegetable oil (which sounds harmless, but palm oil is vegetable-based).
When I discovered that some of the bars I bought regularly had palm oil in them, I decided to research palm-oil-free bars to make the best choice for both the planet and good health.
Here’s my top four totally delicious, addictive, all palm-oil-free bars:
GoMacro high protein, Certified Organic and Certified R.A.W. Banana + almond butter (protein 10g, sugars 13g, sodium 35mg) and sunflower butter + chocolate (protein 10g, sugars 11g, sodium 50mg) are favorites and so many more flavors to try.
Trader Joe’s Organic Hemp Seed Bars with cashews, almonds, blueberries, black currants, and 20% of every bar made with hemp seeds. Certified Organic (protein 3g, sugars 5g, sodium 25mg).
Trader Joe’s Organic Chia Bars with almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and 18% of every bar made with chia seeds. Certified Organic (protein 2g, sugars 5g, sodium 60mg).
Larabar Original Fruit & Nut Bar has a simple ingredient list of unsweetened fruit and nuts. Peanut butter cookie (protein 6g, sugars 17g, sodium 85mg) and blueberry muffin (protein 3g, sugars 17g, sodium 0mg) are favorites.
Shopping for organic is easy because we look for the USDA Organic label. But it’s much more difficult shopping for palm-oil-free products, and you often must call the companies to know for certain.
Palm oil is found in many kinds of packaged food as well as soaps, shampoos and conditioner, detergents, and moisturizers. In fact, palm oil is so ubiquitous that it’s estimated to be an ingredient in fifty percent of all packaged food—cookies, candy bars, potato chips, ice cream, margarine, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, trail mix, crackers, cereal, and frozen meals.