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 Palm oil is an equatorial resource and it is found in around half of all products on UK supermarket shelves.

Margarine, lipstick, shower gel, bread, cake, chocolate and crisps often contain it to name but a few.

 

In the UK, companies now have to use the words "palm oil" to describe the product in its original form when found in food products. This is not the case when it comes to non-food items. Additionally, there is no obligation to declare that a food product contains palm oil derivatives.

 

The production of palm oil is destroying the rainforest. The result of deforestation is devastating. Native people are displaced from their homes many are being forced to work in the plantations to survive. Animals are being displaced, maimed and killed. Whole species are likely to become extinct including the iconic orangutan.

 

So I decided to try to cut back on my own use of Palm Oil. It sounded easy as there are lots of manufacturers producing palm oil free products, a bit of simple research on the internet will demonstrate this.

 

However as a working mother of two young children, there was no way I could travel to specialist shops to buy palm oil free products. Finding the few items on supermarket shelves that were palm oil free quickly became a chore. Standing in the aisle with two lively toddlers reading labels just wasn't practical. 

 

So I turned to the internet. Whilst I was able to find palm oil free products with relative ease, finding each individually soon became tedious. I was convinced that there must be a definitive list somewhere of all companies that don't use plam oil. But as it turned out, I was wrong. 

 

And here's the thing, I would imagine that a majority of the population are in the same position as me. Not everyone is even aware of palm oil, let alone the problems it causes. And as we discover the issues, many of us turn to the internet to find out what we can do to help. 

 

You can shop on line for organic, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free and many other product types but there was no single place to shop palm oil free.

 

It crossed my mind that somebody should do something about that. Then I realised that I am somebody and if I don't do it, then who will? So I decided to address the issue myself, and so shoppalmoilfree.co.uk was born.

 

Natalie 

 

© Anthony Nolan