In the United States, we’ll deep-fry anything. Go to any state fair, and you’ll see all sorts of fried monstrosities, from deep-fried Oreos and Snickers to French fries fried in lard or fatback. Ugh, I can feel my chest tightening.
And we love French fries, especially with fast food, even though until recently many French fries were cooked up in trans-fat – not exactly healthy. But there’s an even darker side to frying, believe it or not, certain fry oils actually threaten the environment.
Palm oil, made from the fruit of palm trees, a popular ingredient in processed foods and many restaurants use it to prepare food. But here’s the problem. Rainforests in places like Indonesia are being slashed to make way for palm plantations, outraging environmentalists.
Until now, Burger King has used palm oil for frying, but last week Burger King announced it will no longer buy palm oil from an Indonesian company accused of destroying rainforests.
Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil. Palm oil is also used in margarine, cosmetics, and bio fuel. But bio fuel is good, right?
Burger King isn’t exactly a shining example of social responsibility. They sell fast food after all. But it’s certainly a noble and environmentally sensible decision.
But not all fast food companies are as savvy. McDonald’s recently bailed on using free-range eggs and McDonald’s has been accused of pushing Happy Meals on kids with nonstop TV ads and “limited-edition” toys. So shady!
Image credit: Jeremy Brooks