You are sure to have heard of a substance called Palm Oil. Well, along with dozens of other products, Nutella contains an amount of it. Health professionals already recommend we avoid consumption of Palm Oil due to its fatty properties, but now environmental specialists are stepping up their efforts to reduce our use of it.
Like many vegetable and plant derived oils, palm oil was originally celebrated as a replacement for our reliance on fossil fuels. However the demand for palm oil has led to a stratospheric rise in plantations, leading to vast deforestation and peat burning. Not only does this destroy the natural habitat of many wild and endangered animals, but burning the ground removes nutrients for many years and leaves the ground unsuitable to grow anything many years.
Now many companies are coming under pressure to find a replacement for Palm Oil including Ferrero, the Italian company which makes Nutella. With one jar of Nutella sold somewhere in the world every 2.5 seconds, it’s understandable that Royal highlighted this particular Palm Oil consumer. In 2012 French senators attempted to introduce a 300% tax on palm oil, proclaiming it to be a health risk and detrimental to the environment.
Ferrero announced in February this year that 100% sustainable Palm Fruit Oil is used in all its products, certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
If enough big companies make the commitment and cease their demand for Palm Oil, it will be another step towards preserving our environment. For the meantime, remember to enjoy Nutella as part of a balanced diet (unless you’re allergic to nuts).