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One of the most common replacements for soybean oil products is palm oil. While canola oil is a great replacement for vegetable oil itself, many processed foods are made with palm oil. For example, the soy-free shortening that we use in place of Crisco is palm oil shortening.
Palm oil is different than soybean oil or canola not because it is better or worse for you (this is widely-debated), but because of how it is produced. Palm oil production is frequently unsustainable, in stark contrast to soy and canola which are most often grown in a very sustainable manner. While soy and canola are popular crops in the US and Europe, palm oil is frequently produced in countries will less regulation and, as a result, is often produced unsustainably through deforestation. While this drives the price of palm oil down, it can have catastrophic effects on the local plant and animal populations. Of particular concern with palm oil is the orangutan population. Orangutans are critically endangered and the largest threat to their existence is loss of habitat from deforestation for palm oil production.
Whenever you purchase a palm oil-based product, please choose one made using sustainable palm oil. Palm oil is a great substitute for soybean oil and it can be made in a sustainable fashion without threatening endangered species. Choosing sustainable palm oil enables a soy-free option for you without threatening a critically endangered species. If you would like to learn more about helping the orangutan populations threatened by deforestation, please visit orangutan.org.