I think… I hope… I’m doing a bit better than Lael Goodman, the author of this post: “How Many Products with Palm Oil Do I Use in a Day?“
But I don’t really have a kitchen where I am now, so what oil is used at the hawker centers and cafeterias where I mostly eat is not something I’ve even begun to investigate. And yeah, even the organic brands of toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc. are frequently made with palm oil. Here’s some of Lael’s daily guilt trip:
…But even though I know that palm oil is ubiquitous in everyday products, I’ve never assessed its role in my life. That was, until yesterday.
What I found was astonishing, even to me: I use palm oil and its derivatives every single day. Multiple times a day…
In just one day, I used at least twelve products that contain or might contain palm oil:
 Kellogg’s Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Limited Edition Cereal: Chocolatey Almond: hydrogenated palm kernel oil, palm kernel oil
 P&G’s Head and Shoulders shampoo: sodium lauryl sulfate*, sodium laureth sulfate*
 L’Oréal’s Garnier Fructis conditioner: cetyl alcohol*
 Unilever’s Dove white beauty bar soap: stearic acid*, sodium palmitate*
 Unilever’s Vaseline body lotion: stearic acid*, cetyl alcohol*, glyceryl stearate*, glycerin*
 Galderma’s Cetaphil moisturizer with sunscreen: glyceryl stearate*
 Colgate-Palmolive’s Colgate toothpaste: sodium lauryl sulfate*
 Revlon’s Almay mascara: stearic acid*
 Daily vitamins: vegetable magnesium stearate*, vegetable stearic acid*
 J.M. Smucker’s Jif natural peanut butter: palm oil
 Pfizer’s Chapstick lip balm: cetyl alcohol*, tocopheryl linoleate*
 Unilever’s Pond’s cold cream: cetyl alcohol*
It’s easy to think that because I don’t regularly frequent McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts that my palm oil use is limited. But I can see now that palm oil is pervasive in both my professional and my personal life.
Luckily, a lot of companies whose brands I use have already begun stepping up to the challenge by making commitments to ensure that the palm oil they use is free of deforestation and peatland destruction. I know my Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste, L’Oréal conditioner, Kellogg’s cereal, and Unilever soap, lotion, and cream are made by companies who have made this public commitment, making my daily routine a little more sustainable.
Click here to send an email to other companies urging them to make a deforestation and peat-free palm oil commitment.