We are well aware of the saying, “Health is Wealth” and could easily relate to it in today’s era of increasing pollution, isn’t it? Health is indeed one of the most crucial assets to mankind. Thousands of years back, when cooking was invented, one of the most important ingredients was “Oil”. It is that element which is not only a requisite for cooking food, as it adds to taste, but also full of benefits in many ways. One such ancient oil which we are using since the inception of the same, is Palm Oil.
Palm Oil comes from the fruit of oil palms and is native to Southwest Africa which is also considered as the primary source of palm oil. One can extract palm oil from both the kernel and pulp of palm fruit and as per estimates, every 100 kilograms of palm fruit yields about 23 kilograms of palm oil.
Due to its high yield, Palm oil has become a common ingredient for cooking in many parts of the world. For example, countries like Malaysia and Indonesia contribute to around 80 percent of the worldwide palm oil supply.
Palm oil which is unrefined has a reddish hue, thus it is often referred to as Red Palm oil. It is especially rich in carotenoids and antioxidants. It doesn’t end here! Including two tablespoon of Palm oil in our diet on an everyday basis has an array of powerful health benefits.
How is Palm Oil beneficial for our health?
- It reduces Cholesterol levels
- It slows the progression of heart related diseases
- It boosts our brain health
- It enhances Vitamin A in our body
- It reduces oxidative stress
- It improves our skin and hair health
Wow! Isn’t that overwhelming? Well, I must say that it is not just an oil, but a Super Oil, owing to its benefits.
Despite being a Super Oil, Palm Oil has its share of discredit and many have raised arguments to substitute it with other crops, like sunflower, rapeseed, soy and more. The truth is that these oils are way behind palm oil on all environmental factors.
The UN predicts that by 2050, almost 9 billion people will house our planet. To meet these needs, we will have to improve the productivity of our land and since more land will be brought under construction of houses and other infrastructure, we will have to look for plants and crops which take less space to cultivate or simply improve our agricultural production and methods.
Why Palm Oil is the safest option in Oil production considering this data?
- It is more efficient
- It uses less land
- It needs fewer pesticides
- It uses less fertilizer
Let’s not stop there! The UN also made an estimated data of all the oils and the land they would take to produce 150 million tonnes of oil, which is as follows:
- 38 million hectares by palm oil
- 187 million hectares by rapeseed
- 250 million hectares by sunflower
- 375 million hectares by soya bean
Well, the choice is absolutely clear that Palm Oil is definitely ‘the’ choice in terms of Oil production as it will beautifully meet our production needs
Apart from this, Palm Oil has many uses. It is not only used in the cooking industry but a range of other industries as well.
- Consumer retail food and snack manufacturers
- Personal care and cosmetics (mainly palm kernel oil)
- Biofuel and energy
- Animal feed (palm kernel expeller)
- Food service industry
Isn’t the list simply overwhelming? Absolutely yes! Yet, the nation is looking for alternatives of Palm Oil while it caters to not only the cooking arena but so many others. If I am asked my opinion about this Super Oil, my answer would be a big YES as it is not only a great choice for today, but for tomorrow and our future generations, as well.
What is your take? Do you use Palm Oil? Do you recommend using Palm Oil and that we should stop looking for alternatives? Share your views in the comment section.