Palm oil and plastic…

… and how you can ditch both

I love peanut butter (Who doesn’t?). My consumption has gone up so much that I generally finish a jar in less than a week. Although it’s easy to get peanut butter in glass jars (for example from dm or Rewe in Germany) there is another thing I’ve been worrying about for quite a while – palm oil.

You can find palm oil in hundreds of cosmetics and food products – from quick noodle dishes, ready-meals of all kinds and chocolate spreads to margarine, chips and candy. The problem with palm oil is that tropical rainforests in South East Asia and Africa are being torn up to be turned into plantations for palm oil. The impact on the environment – including deforestation, loss of natural habitats (that affects endangered species like orangutans) and an increase in greenhouse gases – is absolutely shocking and devastating.

So even though some organic producers use palm oil from sustainable sources, it still makes me feel weird to support the palm oil industry. I never really know how sustainable the palm oil actually is. So I decided to do my best to avoid it. A lot of products that contain palm oil are really easy to avoid for me – I never eat ready-meals for example. But I did have to find an alternative for my peanut butter and my favourite peanut sauce. So all you need to make your own jar of peanut butter at home is:

1 empty jar

a food processor (if you don’t have one, soak the peanuts in water overnight and use a blender instead)

about 150-250 g of peanuts depending on how big your jar is (from SuperBioMarkt)

vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)

salt

1 tsp of agave juice (in a glass jar from Allos), alternatively sugar

… and then all you have to do is mix everything together. I can’t tell you how long it takes because it always depends on the food processor and if you prefer your peanut butter to be creamy or chunky. I like it chunky 🙂

For making peanut sauce (goes well with rice paper rolls, rice or noodle dishes) all you have to do is add about a tsp of soy sauce and (optional) a chilli. Et voilà, you got yourself a plastic-free, palm-oil-free alternative. Next time I’m making chocolate spread!

homemade peanut sauce

By the way, if you happen to live in Australia, I just found this website listing products in Australian supermarkets that contain palm oil. It’s a great resource!

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5 comments

  1. The glass packaging that contains oils sold in stores are almost never the original packaging Before being placed in small, retail-sized containers, almost all oils are stored in large plastic or metal containers (the metal containers are almost all lined with a plastic-resin coating). Then they repackage the oil to sell it. Almost always if they repackage it into glass, they can charge more because we do not think about the plastic contamination that is already in the oil.
    This is also true of most juices, vinegars, etc., etc.

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