Ask Dave: Palm Oil

Posted on December 16, 2011 by


Dear Dave,

Is Palm oil really a good thing?  I hear a lot about all its benefits but don’t know if its all hype.






Dear Michele,

The short answer is yes – but as with ALL foods it depends on the details.  The most nutritious palm oil is red palm oil, this is the virgin oil – it contains the most beneficial nutrients and has many different uses.

Allow me to elaborate on another concern with this global commodity.  Aside from the USA (where deep fried foods and soybean oil reign supreme) palm oil is the most widely consumed oil in the world.  This means a LOT of it needs to be grown to meet the global demand.  A major issue with palm oil is sustainability;  there are many producers that focus more on quantity than quality.  Some plantations have been literally ‘carved’ out of tropical forests – many of these do not employ healthy farming practices and can ruin the land in just one harvest. It can be cheaper in the short term to farm in this way but it has devastating consequences on the land and the local human and animal populations.

I strongly encourage anyone who purchases this oil to research the source and remember that although it may have wonderful health benefits there are foods that grow near you that may help you in the same way!

If you would like an excellent source of tropical oils – and information – check out

One saute’ at a time,


Posted in: Ask Dave