Much of the Sumatra looks like the image above. Oil palm plantations blanket the landscape, sometimes as far as the eye can see.

Much of the Sumatra looks like the image above. Oil palm plantations blanket the landscape, sometimes as far as the eye can see.

Is Palm Oil Sustainable?

The popular and widely used ingredient known as Palm Oil (also found under 200+ alternative names on ingredient labels; see below) is produced from the West African Oil Palm. Due to its fast harvest rate and variety of uses, palm oil has become one of the most lucrative and destructive agricultural crops.

Palm oil production is one of the leading causes of deforestation and decreased wildlife population. It's also linked to natural disasters and loss of water sources in rural areas because of how much water each tree requires per day.

Additionally, many companies boast that their products containing palm oil are sustainably sourced and/or certified by RSPO, but many countries where palm oil is produced lack efficient regulation and enforcement of sustainable practice, especially in countries whose governments are plagued with corruption. 

Is Palm Oil Vegan?

Since many who practice a Vegan diet and/or lifestyle for both ethical and moral reasons, one must consider how the food and other products they purchase are produced, and what kind of impact that production has on the environment and wildlife. That said, many "Vegan" products contain palm oil.

Deforestation for oil palm plantations destroy wildlife habitat, disrupt migration paths with more and more access roads, increases poaching and human-wildlife conflict, and have placed iconic animals like the Sumatran elephant, rhino, pangolin, orangutan, and tiger on the list of critically endangered species. Some of them are unfortunately near extinction. 

Whether you're environmental, ethical, health conscious, or vegan, palm oil should be a big fat NO in your life as a consumer and a decent human being. It's not eco-friendly, and certainly not vegan. 

 


Alternative Ingredient Names of Palm Oil

Palm Oil can be found in all sorts of products such as processed food, beverages, cosmetics, hygienics, and even cleaning agents. With so many products consumers use in their day to day lives, and with the growing awareness of how devastating palm oil production is, many consumers are avoiding products that contain palm oil. Unfortunately, many companies whose products use palm oil are catching on to this boycott trend and rather than practice more sustainable methods, they conceal the names of palm oil. There are over 200 alternative names for Palm Oil found on ingredient labels for products around the world. Below is a full list of alternative names. Crazy, right?

A
Acetic and fatty acid esters of glycerol
Acetylated Monoglycerides
Alkylamidopropyl betain
Alkyl alcohol
Alkyl betaine
Alkyl ether sulfate  
Alkyl Polyglucoside
Aluminum Myristates/Palmitates
Aluminium stearate
Aluminium, calcium, sodium, magnesium salts of fatty acids
Amidopropyl betaine
Ammonium laureth sulphate
Ammonium lauryl sulphate
Amphoteric surfactant
Anionic surfactant
PG
Arachamide mea
Ascorbyl palmitate (304)
Ascorbyl stearate
Azelaic acid

B
eta Carotene
Behentrimonium Methosulfate
BTMS
Butyl Myristate
Butyl stearate

C
Calcium lactylate
Calcium Myristate
Calcium oleyl lactylate
Calcium stearate
Calcium stearoyl lactylate
CAPB
Capric triglyceride
Caprylic acid
Caprylic / Capric Glycerides
Caprylic triglyceride
Caprylic/capric triglyceride
Caprylic/capric/stearic triglyceride
Capryloyl glycine
Caprylyl glycol
Carboxylic acid soap
Carotene (Sometimes made from palm)
Castile soap (often from palm)
Ceteareth (2-100)
Ceteareth mbsfl laurethulanate
Ceteareth mbhe laurethulanat
Cetearyl alcohol
Cetearyl ethylhexanote
Cetearyl glucoside
Cetearyl isononanoate
Cetearyl and Sorbitan Olivate
Ceteth-20
Ceteth-24
Cetostearyl Alcohol
Cetrimonium Bromide
Cetremonium Chloride
Cetyl acetate
Cetyl alcohol
Cetyl ethylhexanoate
Cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose
Cetyl lactate
Cetyl Myristate
Cetyl octanoate
Cetyl palmitate
Cetyl ricinoleate
etyltrimethylammonium bromide
Cetyltrimethylammonium chloride
Citric and fatty acid esters of glycerol
Cocoa butter equivalent (CBE)
Cocoa butter substitute (CBS)
Cocamide DEA
Cocamide MEA
Cocamidopropyl betaine
Coco-Caprylat
oco Polyglucose
Cocoyl Sarcosine
Conditioning emulsifier

D
Decyl Glucoside
Decyl Myristate
Decyl oleate
Diacetyltartaric acid esters of monoglycerides
Diacetyltartaric and fatty acid esters of glycerol
Dicocoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate
Dilinoleic acid
Dipalmitoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfat
Disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
Disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate
Distilled Monoglyceride Palm

E
Elaeis guineensis
Emulsifiers: E304, E422, E430, E431, E432, E433, E434, E435, E436, E470, E470a, E470b, E471, E472, E472a, E472b, E472c, E472e, E472f, E473, E474, E475, E476, E477, E478, E479, E480, E481, E482, E483, E493, E494, E495
Emulsifying wax
Epoxidized palm oil (uv cured coatings)
Esterquats
Esters of Myristic Acid
Ethoxylated Monoglycerides
Ethoxylated SMS
Ethoxylated SMO
Ethoxylated STS
Ethyl lauroyl arginate (243)
Ethyl myristate
Ethyl palmitate
Ethylene glycol diesters
Ethylene glycol monoesters
Ethylene glycol monostearate
Ethyl hexyl Esters-2
Ethylhexylglyceri
Ethylhexyl hydroxystearate
Ethylhexyl Myristate
Ethylhexyl Palminate
Ethylhexyl palmitate
Ethylhexyl stearate
Ethylhexylglycerin
Etyl Palmitate

F
Fatty acids
Fatty alcohol alkoxylate
Fatty alcohol sulphates
Fatty amines
Fatty isethionate
FP(K)O - Fractionated Palm Oi
Fractionated Palm Oi

G
Glycerin
Glycerin or glycerol (442)
Glycerol esters
Glyceryl cocoate
Glyceryl Dimyristate
Glyceryl distearate
Glyceryl laurate
Glyceryl Linoleat
Glyceryl monostearate
Glyceryl myristate
Glyceryl oleate
Glyceryl polymethacrylate
Glyceryl Rosinate
Glyceryl stearate
Glyceryl stearate SE
Glycol distearate
Glycol stearate
Guineesis (palm)

H
Hexadecylic
Hexyl laurate
Hexyldecanol
Humectant 422
Humectant glycerol
Hydrated palm glycerides
Hydrogenated palm glycerides

I
Isoamyl Laurat 
Isobutyl Myristate
Isocetyl alcohol
Isocetyl Myristate
Isocetyl stearate
Isodecyl Myristate
Isodecyl oleat
Isopropyl esters
Isopropyl isostearate
Isopropyl Myristate
Isopropyl palmitate
Isopropyl titanium triisostearate
Isostearamide DEA
Isostearate DEA
Isostearic acid
Isostearyl alcohol
Isostearyl isostearat
Isostearyl Myristate
Isostearyl neopentanoate
Isotridecyl Myristate

L
Lactic and fatty acid easters of glycerol
Lactylated Monoglycerides
Lauramide DEA
Lauramide MEA
Lauramine oxide
Laureth (Laureth-1, Laureth-2, Laureth-3, Laureth-5, Laureth-6, Laureth-7, Laureth-8, Laureth-9, Laureth-10, Laureth-11, Laureth-12, Laureth-13, Laureth-14, Laureth-15, Laureth-16, Laureth-20, Laureth-21, Laureth-25, Laureth-30, Laureth-38, Laureth-40, Laureth-50) 
Lauric acid
Lauroyl sarcosine
Lauryl betaine
Lauryl dimonium hydrolysed collage
Lauryl lactate
Lauryl glucoside (from palm)
Lauryl Myristate
Lauryl pyrrolidone
Lauryl Sarcosine
ecithin
Lecithin Isopropyl Palm Oil
Linoleic acid

M
Magnesium myristate
Magnesium stearate
Metallic salts of lactylic esters of fatty acids
Methyl Myristate
Mixed tartaric, acetic and fatty acid esters of glycerol
Mono and di-glycerides of fatty acids
Mono glycerides of fatty acids
Monoglyceride citrate
Monopalmitate
Myreth 3 Myrisrat
Myristate
Myristic acid
Myristic Cetrimonium Chloride Acid
Myristoyl
Myristyl myristate
Myristoyl Sarcosine
Myristoyl Sarcosinate
Myristyl alcohol
Myristyl myristate

N
N-Butyl Esters
Nonionic surfactant

O
Octadecanoic aci
Octyl palmitate
Octyl stearate
Octyldodecyl myristate
Octydodecyl stearate
Octyldodecyl stearoyl stearate
Oleamide MIPA
Oleic acid
Oleyl betaine
Oleyl Myristate
Oleoyl Sarcosine
livem 1000
Oliv-emulse
Oliv-wax LQC
OPKO - Organic Palm Kernel Oil

P
Palmester
Palm fruit oil
Palmitoleic aci
Palm kernel amidopropyl amine oixde
Palm kernel amidopropyl betain
Palm kernel cake
Palm Kernel Diethanolamid  
Palm kernel oil
Palm Kernel Olein
Palm Kernel Stearin
Palm oil
Palm olein oil
Palm stearine
Palmate
Palmitate
Palmitamidopropyl betain
Palmitamidopropyltrimonium chloride
almitic acid
Palmitoyl acid
Palmitoyl alcohol
Palmitoyl myristyl serinate
Palm oleic acid
Palmitoyl oligopeptide
Palmitoyl oxostearamide
Palmitoyl tetrapeptide
Palmitoleic acid
Palm Methyl Ester
PBS Base
Palmolei
Palmfonate
Palmosalt
Partially hydrogenated Palm Oil
Pentaerythritol tetra caprai caprylate
Pentaerythrityl tetracaprylate/tetracaprate
Pentaerythrityl tetraisostearate
Peptide complex
PG dicaprylate/caprate
PHPKO - Partially hydrogenated Palm Oil
PKO - Palm Kernel Oil
PKO fractionations: Palm Kernel Stearin (PKs); Palm Kernel Olein  
PK oleic acid
Planta cleanse
Polyethylene (40) stearate (431)
Polyglycerate-60
Polyglycerol esters of fatty acids
Polyglycerol esters of interesterified ricinoleic acid
Polyglycerol-2 oleyl ether
Polyglyceryl-3 dilisostearate
Polyglyceryl-4 isostearate
Polyglyceryl-4 laurate
Polyglyceryl-4 oleyl ether
Polysorbate 60 or polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monostearate
Polysorbate 65 or polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan tristearate
Polysorbate 80 or polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monoolate
Polysorbate-20
Polysorbate-40
Polysorbate-60
Polysorbate-65
Polysorbate-80
Polysorbate-85
Potassium Cetyl Phosphat
Potassium Myristate
Potassium stearate
ropanediol dicaprylate
Propylene Glycol Alginat 
Propylene glycol esters of fatty acids
Propylene glycol laurate
Propylene glycol monoester
Propylene Glycol Myristate
Propylene glycol stearate

R
Retinyl palmitate

S
Saponified elaeis guineensis
Saturated Fatty acid
Sleareth
SLES
SLS
sodium alkyl sulfate
Sodium cetearyl sulphate
sodium cocoyl glycinate
odium cocoyl isethionate
Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate
Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS)
Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye
Sodium lactylate; sodium oleyl lactylate; sodium stearoyl lactylate
Sodium laurate
Sodium laurel
Sodium laureth sulfate
Sodium laureth sulphate
Sodium laureth - 1 sulphate
Sodium laureth - 2 sulphate
odium laureth - 3 sulphate
Sodium laureth-13 carboxylate
Sodium lauroyl lactylate
Sodium lauryl
Sodium lauryl ether sulphate
Sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate
Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate
Sodium lauryl sulfate
Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
Sodium lauryl sulphate
Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate
Sodium Myristate
Sodium palm kernelate
Sodium palm kerneloyl isethionate
Sodium palmate
Sodium palmitate
Sodium polyarylsulfonat 
Sodium stearate
Sodium stearoyl Fumarate
Sodium stearoyl glutamate
Sodium stearoyl lactylate
Sodium Trideceth sulphate
Solubiliser PS20
Sorbitan Caprylate
Sorbitan Cocoate
Sorbitan Diisostearate
Sorbitan Distearat 
orbitan ester
Sorbitan isotearate
Sorbitan laurate
Sorbitan monoglyceride
Sorbitan monolaurate
Sorbitan monopalmitate
Sorbitan monostearate (491)
Sorbitan oleate
orbitan olivate
Sorbitan palmitate
Sorbitan sesquioleate
Sorbitan trioleate
Sorbitan tristearate
Sorbitan tristearate (492)
Sorbitan triglyceride
Stearalkonium chloride
Stearalkonium hectorite
Stearamide MEA
Stearamidopropyl dimethylamine
Steareth-2
Steareth-7
Steareth-10
Steareth-20
Steareth-21
Stearic acid
Stearic acid or fatty acid (570)
Stearoyl sarcosine
Stearyl alcohol
Stearyl dimethicone
Stearyl heptanoate
Stearyl tartarate
Stearyltrimethylammonium Chlorid
Stearoyl lactic acid
Stearoyl Sarcosine
Steartrimonium chloride
Succinylated monoglycerides
Sucrose esters of fatty acids
Sucrose stearate
Sucroseesters of fatty acids
Sulphonated Methyl Ester
Surfactant CCG

T
Taxanomic
TEA-lauryl sulphate
TEA-stearate
Tetradecyloctadecyl Myristate
TMP esters
Tocotrienols (Vitamin E) 
Tocopherols (Vitamin E)
ocopheryl linoleate
Triacetin
Triacetin (1518)
Tribehenin
Tricaprylin
Tridecyl Myristate
Trifluoroacetyl Tripeptide-2  
Tristearin

V
eg-emulse
Vegetable emulsifier
Vegetable glycerin
Vegetable Oil
Vitamin A palmitate

Y
Yeast with 491

z
Zinc idne Laureth
Zinc Myristate
Zinc stearate