Food label ‘without’, the case of palm oil

In recent years, the public debate around the The issue of ‘without’ consumption has strongly influenced the choices of consumers, in particular those concerning consumption without palm oil. Furthermore, the dissemination of sometimes conflicting information and Fake News has further confused consumers, who find themselves managing their purchases amidst food fears and false beliefs. The study of Professor Guendalina Graffigna, Director of Engage Minds Hub, Full Professor of Consumer and Health Psychology, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences has highlighted how the phenomenon of ‘without’ consumption is very present in Italythrough the lenses of consumer psychology applied to health and sustainability, which offers food for thought that is useful for guiding consumer communication and education.

“With all the media hype that took place between 2016 and 2017 – he explains Mauro Fontanapresident of the Italian Union of Sustainable Palm Oil – in which palm oil was singled out as very riskyIn our opinion, in an instrumental way, this consumer sentiment has almost become a fashion and a ride by the media and has directed the choices on the shelves on TV ”. The only way to defend palm oil from this negative offensive is more informationto introduce the consumer to sustainable palm oil.

“This is why in 2015 theAssociation for Sustainable Palm Oil, to give objective communication and information on the characteristics of palm oil both in terms of sustainability thanks to the certifications and for food safety which can be absolutely respected by using quality palm oil “. “The lack of knowledge and the number of fake news influencing food choices are enormous – he comments Marco Trevisan, dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart – the choice is often conditioned by marketing that tries to convince people to choose one food rather than another. The case of palm oil is emblematic “.

According to Trevisan “the impeachment for environmental issues is a fake, because if we go to see the areas of soil consumed by other vegetable oils they are significantly higher, given that palm is the most productive; according to a possible health risk, this is also false, since the molecule under accusation (monochlorine propane triol) is a molecule that is found in all vegetable oils (with the exception of extra virgin olive oil because it is made cold), but which in palm oil, if carefully prepared, is well below the limits required by the European authority “.

The same is true for gluten: we have six million people in Italy who eat gluten-free (even if not celiac) for no reason. Once there were advertisements for foods that contained gluten, today it is the other way around. Gluten is a noble protein that is replaced with less valuable proteins. The consumer pays more for something that is worth less, one of the absurdities of today ”concludes Trevisan.

Certified palm oil is an absolutely safe food for health – he claims Andrea Ghiselli, president of the Italian Society of Food Sciences – it contains a high amount of saturated food, this is true, but the overall level of the food depends on it. We are consuming too many saturated foods, too much sugar and too much salt, this does not mean that by lightening a food you can then maintain a correct diet because it then depends on the foods you consume throughout the day “.

“Unfortunately, the consumer is too easily duped, there are fads today proteins and the demonization of sugar are in fashion while we we should teach the consumer that no food is bad no food is good, but all foods have portion quantities to consume and frequency of consumption for this we need a more pounding dietary education “concludes Ghiselli.