My Take away from ‘ The Palm Oil Gourmet Delights ‘event
Palm Oil is, unknown to many of us;an integral part of our day to day life .It is widely used in products ranging from soap, lipsticks, and conditioners to bio-fuel. I still remember that in the pre-globalization area, palm oil was supplied as “Palmolein”’ in the government ration shops but after the markets opened up and the consumers were able to exercise more choices we saw it disappearing from the food markets though it is continuously and widely being used indirectly in about 50% of food products in the supermarket like biscuits, cakes, chocolates etc. .
Indonesia, Malaysia, Columbia, Thailand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and Ecuador are some of the largest producers of palm oil.
Palm Oil has been garnering negative publicity for two most commonly perpetrated myths.
1. It is unhealthy for the heart as it is high in saturated fats
Palm oil is fractionated into palm olein which is the liquid fraction, high in monounsaturated oleic acid. This is the primary cooking oil used in tropical and sub-temperate regions of the world. Palm oil has a balanced fatty acid composition, between its saturated and unsaturated fatty acids, and high content of vitamin E like Tocotrienols and Tocopherols. Crude and red palm oil are also rich sources of pro-vitamin A Carotenoids. And in fact this cheap Vitamin rich oil is frequently used as Vitamin supplement in African countries.
|Palm Oil is used to fight malnutrition (Pic – pexels.com )|
An Italian group of researchers led by Prof. Elena Fattore from Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in their publication in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) have documented all published palm oil human studies and concluded that the consumption of palm oil does not pose a threat as far as effects on blood lipids and the incidence of coronary heart disease.
In fact, evidence is coming forth and increasingly mounting that the risk associated with consumption of saturated fats is less pronounced and shifting more towards total calorie intake especially those empty calories from refined sugar and carbohydrates.
2. Palm Oil is the villain behind Wild life extinction
Oil palm cultivation has been an important generator of economic growth in Indonesia and Malaysia in recent years, contributing to a reduction of poverty. However, the industry has also been associated with a number of adverse social and environmental impacts.
|Palm oil is non-GMO (genetically Modified Organism ) product|
An oil palm plantation with its perennial green cover and closed canopy displays the main features of a tropical rain forest. It is also a more efficient carbon sink than a tropical rain-forest and helps absorb greenhouse gases. Palm oil also needs much less land and water to produce compared to other seed oils.
|Sustainability is the key(Image source -pexels.com)|
It is time to call for a fair and balanced view on issues related to sustainability of palm oil and ensuring that Malaysia and its Palm Oil Industry is encouraged to adhere to the measures pledged.Developing countries with their burgeoning population and economies cannot only be held responsible and liable for the damage that developed countries have already inflicted on the planet.