4

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Palm Oil vs. Palm Kernel Oil

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 29, 2011 at 1:12 PM

What's the difference health-wise? Is palm kernel oil bad?

Medium avatar

(19479)

on November 30, 2011
at 02:04 PM

Thanks Futureboy! I think that we need to know what to avoid (industrial palm oil) first, then we can seek what to support (small, responsible producers).

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:40 AM

Good "other side of the coin" argument to contrast mine, +1

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on November 29, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Are there coconut plantations? Same problem? Forgive me if the answer to this is something I should already know.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:44 PM

I agree that this is true...but the more expensive sustainable forms act as a driver for the lower-priced oils. For every 1 person buying a "luxury" good (let's be honest and say that most people view my shopping habits as exorbitant and might I say luxurious, in my pursuit of sustainable/local products...most people don't give a s**t as long as it costs less), there are 3 more buying the mass-produced cheaper alternative.

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:23 PM

from what i've read, it is my understanding that red palm oil from southeast asia is very different process from that of african jungles.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:02 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRPmqNPHALs&feature=related

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on November 29, 2011
at 01:24 PM

Palm kernel oil has a lot more MCT in it. Palm oil has way more Vitamin E in it.

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4 Answers

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14
Medium avatar

(19479)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:36 PM

To make this easier, lets start with a picture...

palm-oil-vs.-palm-kernel-oil

The orange fruit, if pressed and processed into oil, turns into what we call "red palm oil".

The white portion is the kernel of the nut, and provides the raw material for "palm kernel oil".

Red palm oil has an extremely high concentration of antioxidants like vit A and E while palm kernel oil is relatively devoid of such nutrients (thus it's pure white color vs the vibrant yellow/red of the fruit and skin).

Red palm oil from the fruit is also higher in monounsaturated fats vs the highly saturated fat found in the kernel.

Regarding palm oil and the environment, there are responsible producers. I reviewed one such source, Jungle Products, in a post I did a while back.

While industrial producers of palm oil (typically the palm kernel oil used in a wide range of industries not just limited to food production) can be accused of practicing a damaging form of monoculture, we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water.

The use of responsibly produced and fairly traded palm oil products is no different than supporting producers of grass-fed beef. Any food product, especially in this age of "opacity" (i.e. we generally don't see where our food comes from, know who makes it, and even what exactly is in it), can be grow/harvested in a way that is harmful to people, plants/animals, and the environment. This applies to bananas, coconuts, cows, chickens, etc. just well as it does to palm oil.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:40 AM

Good "other side of the coin" argument to contrast mine, +1

Medium avatar

(19479)

on November 30, 2011
at 02:04 PM

Thanks Futureboy! I think that we need to know what to avoid (industrial palm oil) first, then we can seek what to support (small, responsible producers).

6
Medium avatar

on November 29, 2011
at 05:41 PM

While it might be alright for human consumption, it's terrible for the health of ecosystems in places where it is farmed. There's all kinds of hub-bub about "oh it's sustainably farmed in such and such a place..."

The simple truth is, that ANY consumption of palm oil, leads to the demand for low priced palm oil, which is where the ecosystem destroying, species massacre-ing plantations in SE Asia come into the picture. Red palm oil is in a host of industrially produced cosmetic, hygiene and food items that enter the market with competitive prices because the price of ingredients is kept low.

Palm Oil: How our consumer choices affect wildlife

The Price of Palm Oil

GREEN: A Palm Oil Documentary

People around here sometimes mention things like Industrial farming, and how it is a horrible thing. People bring up points from the vegetarian myth, like how these industrial farming processes create monocrops and wipe out ecosystems, entire species, and turn parts of the world into deserts.

Well..what do you think palm oil plantations are? Think about THAT next time you consider how healthy any form of palm oil is.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:44 PM

I agree that this is true...but the more expensive sustainable forms act as a driver for the lower-priced oils. For every 1 person buying a "luxury" good (let's be honest and say that most people view my shopping habits as exorbitant and might I say luxurious, in my pursuit of sustainable/local products...most people don't give a s**t as long as it costs less), there are 3 more buying the mass-produced cheaper alternative.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:02 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRPmqNPHALs&feature=related

Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18472)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:23 PM

from what i've read, it is my understanding that red palm oil from southeast asia is very different process from that of african jungles.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on November 29, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Are there coconut plantations? Same problem? Forgive me if the answer to this is something I should already know.

2
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on November 29, 2011
at 02:48 PM

Palm kernel oil has a very similar fatty acid profile to coconut oil. I cook with it because it has none of the coconut flavor/aroma that comes through with CO. If/when I use up my CO that will be the last I buy, but I'll buy PKO again. Perhaps I'm ultra sensitive to the taste, but even having tried different brands and such, that coconutty flavor comes through (and if it doesn't it's been highly processed) and dominates the taste of dishes. PKO is tasteless. Mine is flakes that are really easy to use as well. PKO is popular in soap making and not so much for dietary, but food grade sources are available.

1
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on November 29, 2011
at 11:13 PM

I like Spectrum's Vegetable Shortening, which is Palm Oil. Its rather difficult to get palm oil locally since its not very popular item around here. I have to get it online. According to them its sustainable and doesn't kill some random monkeys in a third world country.

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