The LRB Podcast


Palm Oil Dependency

Bee Wilson talks to Tom about palm oil, which can be found in everything from pot noodles to shaving foam. In its purest state, squeezed from the fruit and kernels of the oil palm, it has a deep red colour and rich fragrance. By the time it reaches our supermarkets, in ultra-processed foods and cosmetics, it’s been refined, bleached, deodorised and relabelled, appearing in multiple different forms. Bee and Tom look at the reasons for its ubiquity, the consequences for those involved in its production and whether a sustainable palm oil industry is possible.

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Title music by Kieran Brunt / Produced by Anthony Wilks

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