A few years ago the kids and I got to reading about orangutans and the way that their habitats are being destroyed as the rainforests are cut down for wood and the land is cleared to grow palm oil, an ingredient in lots of foods. These actions, combined with baby orangutans being taken for pets, means that these animals are currently endangered and have a real chance of extinction if humans do not change our behaviours.
After watching a few mini documentaries about this the kids decided that if we stopped buying foods with Palm Oil in them it would help the orangutans by lowing the demand – even if ever so slightly. So the label reading began at each supermarket shop and we avoided buying anything with Palm Oil or unidentified vegetable oil in it very successfully. The children were happy to go without things they had before if it had palm oil in it and would actually ask about the ingredients more often than not. With the information we had, we were doing a pretty good job……. then, as often happens, new information came to hand in the form of Auckland Zoo’s Palm Oil free shopping list (NZ shopping).
With this handy document we have now realised that Palm oil is often hidden (aside from the unidentified vegetable oil) within many foods through the use of scientific names and numbers. Our shopping today didn’t change that much thankfully due to our preference for packaged food with minimal ingredient lists which I can also understand however the big one for us was our bagel treat. It seems that the bagels and pizza bases we normally get, both GF and regular, aren’t Palm Oil free for sure and so while I await an email reply from the manufacturers about the source of their additives we decided to try alternatives that were on the Palm Oil free shopping list.
The choices however weren’t exactly huge or ideal either for different reasons. Looks like I may be practising a new skill soon 🙂 So I thought this may be a good time to offer my basic bread recipe again so that if any of you wanted to make a change in your eating behaviours and at the same time create change in the world you had an easy, cheap and yummy alternative to bread at least. This recipe is for one loaf and only has 4 ingredients – water, yeast, flour and a little bit (honestly I’m not one for lots of kneading and hard work) of manual labour. You can find it here on my recipe page.
Until next time… I hope this finds you happy, healthy and living the life you dream of.