By: Jackie | November 29, 2016
Since moving to Jerusalem 4 years ago, every year my friends Nitzan (Israeli) and Fred (American) have a Friendsgiving at their house. My job is to make Pumpkin pies. This year I decided to go all ‘fancy’ and make one of the pies a pumpkin cheesecake.
There is a supermarket five minutes from my apartment that sells American goods. They always have pre-made graham cracker crusts for sale so I thought that would be a good crust to use for the cheesecake. I picked up the crust to look at the ingredients. To my surprise there was palm oil in it. I immediately put it back down. I tried to find graham crackers so that I could make the crust myself but I couldn’t find any. I spotted ginger snaps! I thought that ginger snaps would make an interesting crust, so I picked them up and read the ingredients. Yup, you guessed it – palm oil. After looking at 3 more different cookies I finally found an oatmeal cookie without it. (As I write this, I realize I should have just baked my own cookie pie crust – so next year keep your eyes out for a pumpkin cheesecake recipe with a tahini cookie crust!)
This palm oil thing got me thinking. How many people actually take the time to read the ingredients on the everyday items that they buy? In regards to food items Palm oil is often found in peanut butter, chocolate/hazelnut spreads, cookies, halva, crackers and more.
At Soom Foods we are really, really proud of the fact that we don’t use palm oil or any derivative.
“So what’s the big deal about palm oil?” you may ask. According to saynotopalmoil.com, “The industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty and indigenous rights abuses in the countries where it is produced, as the land and forests must be cleared for the development of the oil palm plantations….Deforestation for palm oil production also contributes significantly to climate change. The removal of the native forests often involves the burning of invaluable timber and remaining forest undergrowth, emitting immense quantities of smoke into the atmosphere and making Indonesia the third highest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.
So please, when you shop – take a minute and read the ingredients. There are small things that we as consumers can do to our part in fighting climate change.
-Jackie, aka “the Heart”