Palm oil has been used worldwide as cooking oil. The industry currently provides a sufficient source of income for a good number of people in developing countries. However, palm oil has been a target of criticisms for some health and environmentally-related concerns. For instance, palm oil is said to cause clogging of arteries due to its fat content. Similarly, the lush forests of Malaysia and Indonesia have been targeted in order to meet the required demand for palm oil. As the need for palm oil increases, much of the tropical rainforests and peat lands are used up to give way for palm oil plantations.
In answer to this great concern, fast food giant KFC is taking a stand to stop using palm oil to cook fried chicken. The said move will hit two birds in one stone as it will both reduce climate change and heart disease. KFC is said to utilize high oleic rapeseed oil instead in 800 outlets in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This switch is believed to lessen saturated fat levels of fried chicken by 25 per cent. It further guarantees KFC consumers that the fast food company is doing its share in protecting the environment because the process of turning forests into palm oil plantations has pushed greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
However, KFC will still use palm oil in other food products such as French fries, hash browns, tortillas, and buns, although total switch to no-palm oil fast food is already in the works with suppliers. Additionally, some manufacturers and retailers have also followed suit and have agreed to purchase products only certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Other supporters also demand that the European Union be keen in specifying palm oil as an ingredient in food packages instead of just indicating ‘vegetable oil’.