by Marion Nestle
Jan 19 2008

Nothing is simple: sustainable palm oil?

If you eliminate oils with trans fats, you have to replace them with fats with equivalent levels of saturation, and palm oils are highly saturated and work well as substitutes. One consequence of the increased demand for palm oils is destruction of tropical rainforests. “To improve the industry’s image and avert a consumer backlash,” food companies are pushing palm oil producers to go green and promise to produce palm oils sustainably. Will this work? It will be interesting to see.

In the meantime, the New York Times has plenty to say about how using palm oil for fuel drives up the cost of food.