Well Being

Your Organic Peanut Butter Is Hurting the Environment: 10 “Good” Foods With Bad Palm Oil Habits (and What You Should Buy Instead)

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You buy organic, you choose natural foods, and you support brands that support your health and the environment. Bad news: Even your carefully-chosen organic peanut butter could be bad for the environment. Peanut butter, like several other “good” foods, can contain palm oil — an oil that's a much healthier alternative to hydrogenated oil, but one that's pretty hard on the environment. (In short, the growth of palm oil trees, primarily in Malaysia and Indonesia, has required clearing large swaths of rainforest, displacing communities and leading many species toward extinction.)

There are lots of foods and brands — natural, organic, or otherwise — that contain the oil, so we took a trip to a local Whole Foods to check out which of the “good” ones contain palm oil. And to keep your grocery trips from feeling like an exercise in Sophie's Choice, we also found some alternatives that don't contain palm oil.

Check out our gallery of organic and natural products that you should avoid, and the ones you should put on your grocery list instead: