Joel Brinkley

Joel Brinkley: The trouble with palm oil

What's so wrong with palm oil, from the palm trees that bear fruit, not coconuts?

Well, if you listen to environmentalists and animal-rights advocates along with nutrition and health experts, they'll tell you it's something close to poison.

Once the United States and other Western countries began condemning and banning trans-fat oils a few years ago, palm oil became a popular substitute. You can find it in shampoo, lipstick, soap and a host of snack and other foods, including some ketchups, margarine, chewing gum, candy bars and cooking oil.

Oil-palm trees, as they're called, are grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, and that's where the problems...

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