The Wall Street Journal has an article on palm oil and the negative environmental consequences of its popularity in foods today. The palm oil problem is a side effect of the move against partially-hydrogenated oils and trans fats, as palm is one of the few oils that is an acceptable replacement for partially- or fully-hydrogenated oils.
I speak from some experience. Whole Foods does not permit the use of hydrogenated oils in their products. For peanut butter products that require the peanut oil to be homogenized or stabilized, palm oil is the only option. We re-formulated our Cream-Nut Peanut Butter Clusters and replaced the fully-hydrogenated oils with palm oil. We now will begin to search for a sustainable supply of palm oil stabilizer.
The food business is full of hard trade-offs between health, the environment, and costs. We like easy answers, but they can be hard to come by sometimes.
Wall Street Journal
Dec. 7, 2009