The chocolatey spread Nutella has been popular in Europe for years. In fact, Americans are just recently discovering the sweet, sweet chocolate and hazelnut deliciousness of Nutella. But that all may change.
French Ecology Minister Ségolène Royal has called for a boycott on Nutella. Why?
It turns out Nutella is made with palm oil. According to an article in The Guardian, Royal said, “We have to replant a lot of trees because there is massive deforestation that also leads to global warming. We should stop eating Nutella, for example, because it’s made with palm oil.” She’s not alone in her beliefs. David Wilcove, Princeton University professor of public affairs and ecology and evolutionary biology, claims that palm oil is “the single greatest immediate threat to tropical forests and wildlife. It is the leading cause of deforestation and has been for a number of years.”
Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that comes from the palm fruit, which grows on the African oil palm tree. Besides the fact that palm oil can be dangerously fattening, experts believe that palm oil production wipes out biodiversity, endangers certain animal species like orangutans, and is possibly even linked to human rights abuses.
Definitely some good reasons to avoid palm oil. But does that mean we have to give up on Nutella?
The company that makes Nutella, Ferrero, recently issued a statement that it was aware of the environmental impact palm oil had and has committed to sourcing it responsibly. Time magazine reports that Ferrero works with sustainable palm oil plantations that use land that has already been cleared and won’t use land that endangered species call home. Greenpeace even called Ferrero a “mover and shaker” when it comes to sustainable palm oil production.
So there you have it. Nutella might not be the bad guy after all. Choco on!