Where there is a will there is a way

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Palm Oil is found in 90% of margarine (in NZ) - except Alfa One (Rice Bran Oil based)

Just wanted to pass on something I learned from the great NZ show, "What's
Really in Our Food?" Season 4, Episode 2 - Table Spreads and Oils.

Most importantly "Over 90% of table spreads contain palm oil, however it can simply be listed as ‘vegetable oil’."

Palm oil is a problem as it is very difficult to buy sustainably produced oil. It's cheap, but responsible for the deforestation of rainforest in places such as Borneo and Sumatra - removing the habitat of orangutan and causing their extinction.

I knew that they used it in soaps, but was clueless about table spreads (as in margarine). Apparently the only table spread that doesn't use palm oil here is one which is based entirely on rice bran oil, Alfa One. Guess which one we buy now? (I think also a few letters are in order.)

Something else just for health info - virgin olive oil is just less refined - the terms refer to how it is processed. And there is no such thing as "light" oil (meaning less fattening). All oil is 100% fat.

From the "What's Really in Our Food?" website:

Cold pressed oils undergo minimal processing – the fruit or seed they’re made from is simply pressed so that the oil comes out. These oils usually have strong flavours that get destroyed by heating so they’re better used on salads or breads. Not all olive oils are cold pressed. Extra virgin and virgin olive oils are the result of the first and second pressings of olives.

But, more refined oils can be cooked at higher temperatures (before they start smoking). And...

Unlike wine, extra virgin olive oil is best enjoyed fresh. Over time, the oil degrades – both heat and light also contribute to this. Italian olive oils have a great reputation but if you’re an extra virgin olive oil fan it’s probably better to buy locally produced olive oils because they’re likely to be fresher.

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