Holiday Candy Without Palm Oil ~ Palm Oil Free Valentine’s Candy

finding palm oil free valentine's candy


Please read labels before buying — don’t just toss candy in your cart. Here’s how to find Valentine’s Day candy without palm oil.

Did you know palm oil ingredients are in all types of candies? Most don’t include “palm” in the name. 

Lots more info below, but quickly, in the United States:

holiday candy without palm oil
Note these are Milk Chocolate and not their “Hugs” candies.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars are fine if you are avoiding palm oil.

You can also find original Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups which don’t list palm oil ingredients. Read labels.

What’s great is consumers can find these at most all candy counters. 

Palm oil is in all types of Valentine’s candies:

  • Candy hearts
  • Conversation hearts
  • Valentine’s chocolate in boxes
  • Holiday chocolate in wrappers
  • Hard candies, licorice-types,
  • Gummies candies and hearts
  • Candies that come in pieces
  • Caramels, chews, nougats

Candy companies continue to introduce new products and flavors, especially around the holidays.

Remember, the more complicated the flavor, the more ingredients it has.

No matter what the product:  More ingredients = Greater chance for palm oil

In the last few years, it’s become the norm for candy companies to use palm oil as inexpensive ingredients in their candies.

Valentine’s candy without palm oil

Our son has a palm oil allergy / intolerance. Because he is able to have these candies safely, we believe they are palm oil free.

Please note, this list is not guaranteed.

  • Swedish Fish Valentine’s Day Hearts Bag 
  • Sour Patch Kids Hearts 
  • YumEarth! Organic Valentine’s Fruit Pops
  • YumEarth! Organic Gummy Fruits
  • Hershey’s Kisses Valentine’s Day:
    • Milk Chocolate bag with red, pink, & silver foils; not Hershey’s Hugs which have lines on the foils
    • Valentine’s Day Milk Chocolate Cane 
    • Conversation Kisses: These are Milk Chocolate (pink, turquoise, and purple foils)
    • Almond Kisses with pinkish & gold foils
    • Giant Milk Chocolate Kiss 7 oz

Learn more about our son’s palm oil sensitivity here.

valentine's candy without palm oil

Valentine’s Day is a popular day for candy at school

Most elementary schools across America allow students to pass out Valentine’s Day cards to their classmates. It’s almost become a mini-Halloween with all the candy my kids come home with.

Read ingredients before buying Valentine’s Day exchange boxes and bags that come with candy. You CAN find them without palm oil.

Valentine exchange for school that come with a card or a To: / From: are:

We saw all of the following at Target. While we believe them to be palm oil free, please know they aren’t guaranteed.

  • YumEarth! Organic Valentine Exchange Pop Box (40 Valentine’s Wrapped Pops)
  • YumEarth! Organic Sugar-Coated Gummy Fruits (20 Valentine’s Snack Packs)
  • SweeTARTS Valentine’s Lollipops: (30 Cherry Lollipops)
  • DumDums Valentine’s Friendship Exchange Heart Pops (25 Heart Pops)
  • DumDums Valentine’s 50 Pops to Create Valentine Lollipop Bouquets (25 Friend Cards plus one Teacher Card)
  • Sour Patch Kids Valentine’s Day Exchange Box (25 Exchange Bags)
  • Nerds Valentine’s Day Strawberry Punch (36 Treat Size Boxes)
  • Swedish Fish Valentine’s (25 Treat Size Bags)
  • Hershey’s Valentine’s Day Milk Chocolate Snack Size (25 Snack Size Treats)

Not sure if these come with a To/From but they are also an option if you make homemade Valentine’s or treat bags:

  • Wholesome Organic Heart-Shaped Lollipops (30 Cherry & Watermelon Lollipops; also at Target)

Other options without palm oil to pass out to the class for Valentine’s Day include:

  • Utz Valentine Treat Bags Pretzels: Valentine Fun Shaped Pretzel Exchange Snacks: (35 Treat Bags; saw at Target)
  • Pirate’s Booty Be My Matey Aged White Cheddar Puffcorn Valentine Exchange (12 count)

valentine's day candy without palm oil

Conversation hearts for Valentine’s Day often contain palm oil

Watch for Glycerin, Calcium Stearate, and Magnesium Stearate in Conversation Hearts.

No matter if they are regular flavored, sweet, sour, berry-flavored, tiny, large, etc., most all Conversation Hearts contain palm oil derivatives.

Palm oil can also hide in the “Natural Flavors” and in the “Citric Acid” in candy.

Gummy candy hearts often contain palm oil

Also popular around Valentine’s Day are gummy hearts. 

Common palm oil derivatives in gummy candies are Palm Kernel Oil. Glycerin also hides in the “Natural Flavors.”

Other Valentine’s Day candy that may contain palm oil ingredients

Where else is palm oil hiding in Valentine’s Day candy?

Fruit Roll-Ups contain palm oil.

Fun Dip now contains Calcium Stearate which may be a palm oil derivative.

Candy Bracelets contain Magnesium Stearate.

Starburst and Skittles contain palm oil.

Gummy bears and Haribo Goldbears contain palm oil.

Fruit Snacks often contain palm oil ingredients, including Alpha Tocopherol Acetate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Glycerin, Natural Flavors, and others.

Palm oil in candy for the holidays and all year

In addition to looking for anything with “Palm” in the name, watch for these palm oil derivatives as well. 

  • Calcium Stearate
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerol
  • Glycerol Monostearate
  • Magnesium Stearate
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides
  • Mixed Tocopherols
  • Mono- and Diglycerides
  • Stearic Acid
  • Tocopherols 
  • Anything with Palm in it as in Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Organic Palm Oil, etc.

These are ways candy companies use palm oil in candy without everyday consumers knowing about it. Take a few seconds to read labels for your favorite candies.

Did you know there are hundreds of names for palm oil derivatives? We used the list from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme and condensed it for easy printing here.

Watch for palm oil in these types of candies during the holidays 

  • Peppermint bark 
  • Chocolate bars with a “coating” 
  • “Filled” candies and candy bars
  • “Crispy” candy bars
  • “Crunchy” chocolate bars
  • “Creamy” fillings 
  • Candy hearts
  • Shiny hard candies, mint ribbons, candy canes, etc.

Look for solid milk chocolate or solid dark chocolate bars.

Why companies use palm oil in candy

Palm oil is inexpensive for companies to use.

In addition, it’s also very versatile.

Candy companies use palm oil in many ways, including: 

  • Creates mouthfeel — makes candies smooth and creamy
  • Preservative to maintain shelf-life
  • Maintains freshness
  • Adds shine to candy 
  • Prevents blooming (when chocolate turns white from not being stored properly)
  • As an emulsifier so the ingredients blend together
  • Prevents candy pieces from sticking to the machines

Also, as companies invent new candy flavors, they often contain palm oil ingredients. 

What is the chocolate product called?

Before buying chocolate, look on the front at the product description. What is it called?

There is a difference between “Milk Chocolate” and “Chocolate Flavored.”

We often grab and go, without reading product descriptions.

The best example I can give of this is what happened with Hershey’s Mr. Goodbar this year.

It used to be called “Milk Chocolate.” It did not list “Palm Oil” in the ingredients.

Hershey’s changed it to “Chocolate Candy.” The ingredients under this product name now include Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil. 

Watch for the ways the companies describe their products. 

“Chocolate candy” is allowed to contain palm oil.

“Chocolate-Flavored” is allowed to contain palm oil.

In addition, “Chocolately” likely contains palm oil.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stricter criteria for “Chocolate” than it does for “Chocolate-Flavored,” “Chocolate Candy,” and “Chocolately.”

In order to call a product Milk Chocolate, it must comply with stricter FDA regulations.

NOTE: “Milk Chocolate” can still contain palm oil ingredients. However, what makes the product “chocolate” won’t contain palm oil like it does with “chocolate flavored,” etc.

Holiday candy without palm oil

Please note, this list is not guaranteed. Use it as a starting point. In order to ensure a product is palm oil free, it should have the Palm Oil Free label from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme. 

read ingredients before buying candy canes

Print the condensed list of winter holiday candy without palm oil here.

Candy canes without palm oil

Many candy canes contain palm oil ingredients. Some to watch for are:

  • Citric Acid
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerine (with or without the word “Vegetable”)
  • Glycerol
  • Natural Flavors
  • Palm Oil

Watch for Glycerin, Glycerine, and Glycerol which are common in candy canes. These are palm oil derivatives. 

Some candy canes without palm oil derivatives include:

  • Bob’s Sweet Stripes
    • Peppermint Stir Sticks 5oz (at Target)
  • Spangler Candy Canes 
    • Natural Peppermint
    • Cherry
  • Wholesome Organic Candy Canes
  • YumEarth!
    • Holiday Candy Canes (at Target)
    • Holiday Mini Candy Canes (at Target)
    • Organic Candy Cane Pops
    • Organic Gummy Fruits (green holiday bag)

candy canes without palm oil

Look for candy canes with ingredients you recognize. 

Peppermint candy without palm oil

  • Bob’s Sweet Stripes Soft Peppermint Candy (at Target)
  • York Peppermint Patties Dark Chocolate Coated Peppermint Patties with “Happy Holidays”
  • Market Pantry Peppermint Starlight Mints Hard Candy (at Target)
  • Market Pantry Soft Peppermint Puffs 7 oz (at Target)

Chocolate holiday candy without palm oil

Hershey’s Kisses

  • Milk Chocolate — silver foil
  • Milk Chocolate with Almond — gold foil 
  • Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate — purple foil

Holiday Hershey's Kisses Milk Chocolate

Hershey’s Kisses Christmas holiday packaging in bags: 

  • Milk Chocolate — bag with red and green foils
  • Santa Hat Kisses are the same as Milk Chocolate — top of foil wrapper is red, bottom is silver
  • Milk Chocolate with Almond — bag with red, green, and gold foils
  • Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate — bag with red, green, and purple foils

holiday candy without palm oil

Other holiday Kisses:   Be sure you are buying “Milk Chocolate Kisses”

  • Santa Hat Mini Kiss 1.45 oz
  • Giant Milk Chocolate Kiss — 7 oz and 12 oz
  • Milk Chocolate Kisses in plastic candy cane
  • Kisses Holiday Sleeve 1.6 oz
  • Hershey’s Kisses Holiday Advent Calendar 3.8 oz

Milk chocolate without palm oil

Hershey’s Bars — all sizes

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Milk Chocolate with Almond
  • Special Dark Mildly Sweet Chocolate

Christmas packaging: 

  • Milk Chocolate 1 Pound Bar
  • Milk Chocolate 3 Pound Holiday Milk Chocolate (saw at Walmart)
  • Hershey-ets Holiday Filled Candy Cane 1.4 oz

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

  • Snack Size Cups (original version)

Choose the original packaging — avoid holiday labeling — and recipe to be sure you avoid palm oil.


Please note, M&M’s doesn’t make claims these are palm oil free. They do not list palm oil ingredients on their labels which is why we are including them here. My son — who gets sick from palm oil — enjoys them safely.

  • Milk Chocolate
  • Almond 
  • Dark Chocolate

M&M’s Christmas packaging in bags:

  • Milk Chocolate — red and green M&M’s
  • Almond — red and green M&Ms

Other M&M’s holiday packagingBe sure you buy the Milk Chocolate (and not in Peanut which contains palm oil).

  • Giant M&M’s Christmas Yard Bar 30.42 oz
  • M&M’s Christmas Box 3.1 oz 
  • Light & Sound Christmas Tree .46 oz
  • (Green) Holiday Ornament Tin
  • Christmas Story Book
  • Mini’s Mega Tube 1.77 oz
  • Mini Tube Naughty or Nice 1.08 oz
  • Holiday Mini’s Milk Chocolate 4 Pack Tubes 4.32 oz
  • Minis Baking Bits
  • Holiday Candy Cane (plastic cane filled with Milk Chocolate M&M’s) 3 oz

Dove Promises

  • Silky Smooth Promises Milk Chocolate 
  • Gifts Milk Chocolate

Print this list of winter holiday candy without palm oil for reference.

Other holiday chocolate without palm oil

There are many fair-trade certified labels with milk chocolate and dark chocolate that don’t contain palm oil. Again, choose the ones with the least amount of ingredients.

Read labels and avoid Tocopherols if the source isn’t listed — it’s often from palm oil — even in “eco” brands of chocolate.

Chocolate oranges and chocolate coins often contain palm oil. Those made in European countries typically do not. 

Boxed specialty chocolate on the shelves typically contain palm oil to preserve shelf life (among other things).

Holiday hard candy – read labels

Watch for Magnesium Stearate and Calcium Stearate. These are palm oil derivatives. Candy manufacturers use them because they help keep the candies from sticking to the machines. 

You might not expect palm oil to be in mint ribbons and other brightly-colored hard candies in plastic bags. Read labels. Most contain palm oil.

Finding palm oil free Christmas Candy

Avoid mixed bags of holiday candies. At least one kind will contain palm oil.

You will have greater success finding palm oil free candy by purchasing candy bags separately. All the holiday candy mix bags we found for Christmas contain palm oil.

Also, if you don’t see your favorite candies on this list, they may contain palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Check out our comprehensive list of Halloween candy without palm oil for more info. Read labels in stores. It only takes a few seconds.

Remember, there are many more holiday candies with palm oil than without it.

Palm oil is common in 

holiday chocolate, candy canes,

hard candies, licorice-types,

gummies, chocolate coins & oranges,

caramels, candies with pieces, & more.

Note, gum usually contains palm oil in the form of Glycerin or Glycerol.

Palm oil free holiday candy

Many people avoid palm oil because of environmental concerns. There are also consumers who avoid it because they experience reactions from it. Please use this list as a starting point.

Whether you are buying candy for baking, to fill the stockings, for gifts, to put out at work and at parties, or to enjoy at home, you can find Christmas candies without palm oil ingredients.

It’s also possible to find Valentine’s candy without palm oil.

You just have to know what to look for and what to avoid.

Take a few extra sections to look for these candies above and read labels.

When shopping, it’s tempting to just grab whatever candy catches our eye. However, by reading labels before buying, you can make a big impact.

We are grateful to these candy companies above for not including palm oil ingredients in these products.

Be loyal to these products. We hope they will continue to make them without palm oil.

Read labels before buying. Companies change ingredients. Avoid palm oil and palm oil derivatives in candy at Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas, every other holiday, and all year.  

Click to print this list of winter holiday candy without palm oil.

Holiday candy throughout the year

We have updated this for Valentine’s Day as well.

Check back for springtime, Easter-type candies as well.

Have you noticed a trend? No matter the season or holiday, it’s becoming more of a challenge to find candy without palm oil.

Even if you don’t completely eliminate palm oil from your purchases, there are easy ways to learn how to use less palm oil each week.

Please do not use this for medical advice. This list is not guaranteed. Use it as a starting point and as a way to be more aware of palm oil in Valentine’s candy and other holiday candy. See what our son can eat even though he is palm oil free.

Support Palm Oil Free certification!

The only way to ensure a product is Palm Oil Free is if it has earned Palm Oil Free certification from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme.


Breakfast Without Palm Oil ~ List of Palm Oil Free Breakfast Foods

palm oil free breakfast


You can start your day with a breakfast without palm oil if you know what to watch for. Below we discuss common breakfast foods, which ones contain palm oil, and some easy palm oil free substitutions.

Sometimes you have time for a homemade breakfast and sometimes you need to grab and go. Here are choices for palm oil free breakfasts.

Most of us have palm oil in the morning without even realizing it.

Breakfast without palm oil

Toast, English muffins, croissants, and bagels

One brand for palm oil free English muffins, bagels, and bread is Dave’s Killer Bread products.

  • Dave’s Killer Bread: all products

Dave’s Killer Bread confirmed they don’t use palm oil in their products.

Other breads typically contain palm oil derivatives in many forms. Bread manufacturers use palm oil derivatives to keep them shelf stable, to make them larger/fluffier, to make them more dense, and/or to add to mouth feel.

Watch for ingredients such as:

  • Monoglycerides
  • Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
  • Calcium Stearoyl Lactylate
  • Mono- & Diglycerides
  • Distilled Monoglycerides
  • Ethoxylated Mono- & Diglycerides

If you make your own bread, use Yeast without Sorbitan Monostearate which is often sourced from palm oil.

The only palm oil free yeast we’ve found — just “yeast” is listed in the ingredients — is:

  • Red Star Active Dry Yeast: in the three-pack

Spreads without palm oil

What are you putting on your toast, bagel, or English muffin?

Some palm oil free choices include:

  • Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread
  • Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Organic Butter
  • 100% fruit preserves
  • Pure honey
  • Real butter
  • Peanut butter: Use protein-packed palm oil free peanut butter but be sure to read labels. Also, avoid “no stir” labeling. “No stir” is a marketing buzzword code for “it includes palm oil.” Be sure you are buying “peanut butter” and not “peanut butter spread” which contains palm oil.
  • Avocado

Please note, margarine and imitation butters typically contain palm oil.

Doughnuts, muffins, and pastries

We have yet to find doughnuts and pastries without palm oil. Pre-made desserts most always contain palm oil.

While it’s common to see doughnuts and other bakery items at the office and at meetings, do your best to avoid them.

Avoid packaged bakery snacks, including PopTarts. These contain palm oil as do most cookies.

  • Erin Baker’s Breakfast Cookies: They’ve confirmed they make all of their flavors without palm oil.

Make your own muffins, and store them in the freezer for a fast, palm free breakfast when you need it.

Bacon, ham, and sausage

In the United States, you can typically find palm oil free bacon, sausage, and ham. Some brands we use include:

  • Kirkland Sliced Bacon, Naturally Hickory Smoked: from Costco
  • Banquet Brown ‘N Serve Original 10 Fully Cooked Sausage Links

breakfast without palm oil

Pancakes and waffles

Many frozen waffles and pancakes contain palm oil ingredients. Read labels. One that’s doesn’t contain palm oil is:

  • Van’s Organic Original Frozen Waffles

You can easily make your own with flour, yeast, sugar, milk, eggs, and pure vanilla extract.

Be sure to use pure vanilla extract as imitation versions typically contain Propylene Glycol or other palm oil derivatives.

Make batches of pancakes and waffles and freeze them. In this way, you can enjoy them when you need a fast breakfast.

There are items we use to make it easier to live without palm oil. We love our waffle maker!

100% pure maple syrup

Do watch for syrup. Many bottles contain Mono- and Diglycerides. Always choose 100% maple syrup to avoid palm oil derivatives.

Whipped cream

Hold the whipping cream — it contains palm oil in the form of Mono- & Diglycerides.

Add pure maple syrup and any types of berries, and/or sliced banana. You won’t miss the whipped cream.

French toast

Use Dave’s Killer Bread, eggs, pure vanilla extract, and milk without Vitamin A Palmitate.

Add pure maple syrup, pure cinammon, real butter, and fruit, and you have a delicious, filling breakfast without palm oil.


There’s a lot you can do with eggs. Choose organic eggs if you can.

Hard boil them in advance for a quick breakfast on the go. You can also take a few minutes at home to poach, scramble, fry, etc. If you have time, add onion and peppers.

Salsa is typically palm oil free if you buy it, and it’s great on eggs.

You can make a frittata in advance. Look online for egg casserole and fritatta recipes. You can add in anything you have: sausage, bacon, spinach, herbs, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cheese, potatoes, etc. Top with avocado.

palm oil free breakfast

Note, palm oil free egg substitutes and replacers may contain Vitamin A Palmitate and/or Vitamin E which can be made with palm oil.

According to Food Network, eggs are the most popular breakfast food in America.

Hash browns

Frozen hash brown patties most always contain palm oil because it helps to bind it together. 

Buy frozen diced or frozen shredded hash brown potatoes which usually don’t contain it. Even better, make your own. 

Biscuits and gravy

Don’t buy biscuits in the can from the refrigerated section. They contain palm oil. Make your own.

Make your own gravy or be sure to avoid gravy in jars. They often contain Mono- and Diglycerides. Some mixes are okay. Be sure to read labels on gravy.

Breakfast sandwiches

These are convenient for a quick breakfast but breakfast sandwiches and breakfast burritos almost always contain palm oil ingredients.

Take time to read labels for breakfast sandwiches on croissants, English muffins, and on biscuits.

Instead, make your own from palm oil free tortillas, real cheese, sausage, bacon, onion, and other fillings you have on hand.


Yogurt is typically a palm oil free item. We’ve found some Light versions contain Vitamin A Palmitate.

Be aware of the mix-ins that are geared for school lunches and kids. The candies and other toppings often contain palm oil.

Ready-to-eat cereal

See our list of cereals without palm oil.

Some palm oil free options are:

  • Life Cereal
  • Kashi Peanut Butter Crunch
  • Oatmeal (not instant which often contains Vitamin A Palmitate)
  • Quinoa

Read labels, and watch for palm oil and palm kernel oil.

In addition, avoid all cereal with Vitamin A listed in the nutrition panel. It’s in the form of synthetic Vitamin A Palmitate, which is made with palm oil.

Watch for Glycerin and Tocopherols in Granola.

Oatmeal is palm oil free. However, instant oatmeal usually contails Vitamin A Palmitate.

Make a batch of quinoa to warm up during the week. Add fruit, nuts, cinnamon, pure honey, pure maple syrup, etc. for a warm, hearty breakfast.

You can make your own granola as well.

Oat Peanut Butter Honey Balls

You can easily make these balls with just three ingredients and no baking.

  • Oats
  • Peanut Butter w/ just peanuts (+salt okay)
  • Honey (local if possible)

Mix them on foil or wax paper for easy cleanup. Shape into balls and freeze them to set. Even freezing for 30 minutes is enough.

They are perfect for breakfast and snacks.

We used Crazy Richards Peanut Butter with just peanuts. It works well in recipes.

Palm oil free breakfast

Protein bars

Sometimes you need to grab and go, and protein and other types of nutrition bars are a convenient breakfast. Read our post, Granola Bars without palm oil to find palm oil free choices.

Read labels on snack and protein bars. Many contain Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, as well as Glycerin and Tocopherols which are usually sourced from palm oil.

Instant breakfast

It’s convenient to have powdered or premade instant breakfast drinks to start your day with vitamins and minerals. However, instant breakfast mixes and drinks typically contain Vitamin A Palmitate.


No matter what’s in season, there are convenient options to enjoy fruit for breakfast at home or on-the-go.

Coffee and creamer

Black coffee is palm oil free. Flavored coffees, such as buttery caramel, toffee, etc., can contain palm oil derivatives in the “Natural Flavors.”

Creamer often contains palm oil.

Read labels before buying creamers, and watch for:

  • Palm oil
  • Mono- and Diglycerides
  • Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate

Remember, the more complicated the flavor, the greater chance there are palm oil ingredients.

Instead of creamer, add whole milk. Read labels for milk. Watch for Vitamin A Palmitate.

Whole milk typically doesn’t contain Vitamin A Palmitate, a palm oil derivative.

Manufacturers often fortify nut-based and plant-based milks with Vitamin A Palmitate as well. Read labels before buying.

Choose milk without supplemental Vitamin A.

Reminders for a palm oil free breakfast

Choose pure ingredients

  • Pure honey, 100% maple syrup
  • Real butter or Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Organic Butter; not margarine or imitation butter
  • Pure cinnamon such as Red Ape Cinnamon’s Premium Ground Cinnamon which is certified palm oil free.

Watch for milk

Whatever milk you choose, be sure there isn’t Vitamin A Palmitate added.

Read labels

We can’t always make food from scratch. It’s important to read labels before buying anything. There are palm oil free options available. See these other tips for ways to use less palm oil.

Be loyal to palm oil free brands

When you find some palm oil free breakfast items that you enjoy, keep buying them.

Prep in advance

Try to make breakfast foods in advance so you can enjoy them all week.

  • Make a batch of pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
  • Cook up a package of bacon to enjoy for several days.
  • Cut up a watermelon or pineapple; wash berries in advance.
  • Make a frittata.
  • Hard-boil a dozen eggs so you can grab and go.
  • Cook several cups of quinoa so you can quickly add fresh fruit and nuts.

If you can plan to make and freeze breakfast foods in advance, you will have them when you need them.

Breakfast without palm oil

Once you get into the habit, it’s easy to have breakfast without palm oil. You can change it up with different choices each day. It’s mostly about knowing where palm oil is hidden and making some easy substitutions.

Do you have ideas for palm oil free breakfasts? Why do you avoid palm oil? Please Comment below so we can all learn from each other.

My son eats palm oil free. This is a list of what he eats. 

Please note, while we read labels, reference the list of names for palm oil derivatives, and email companies asking about their ingredients, the only way to be certain a product is Palm Oil Free is if it has been certified through the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme.

This list of palm oil free breakfast foods is not guaranteed; it shouldn’t be used for medical advice. Please do your own due diligence.

Why Is Palm Oil Bad? What’s the Problem with Palm Oil?

why is palm oil bad


You may be wondering why palm oil is bad. What’s the problem with palm oil? Why are people upset about it?

Is palm oil bad for the earth, animals, and people? Is it bad for your health?

For most people, the issue lies with deforestation. Where there were once lush rainforests, now there are palm oil plantations. 

Deforestation is the reason palm oil is a global concern.

Companies use it in thousands of products. Palm oil is in everything from food coloring and cereal to candy, desserts, shampoo and household cleaners. 

While we care about the environmental impact of palm oil plantations, our family seeks palm oil free alternatives for an additional reason: Palm oil makes our son sick.

If he uses a product with palm oil or eats something with it, he has allergic reactions. Sometimes he is sick for days or weeks.

We work hard to buy products without palm oil to keep our son healthy. 

We started this website to help others who have a palm oil allergy, palm kernel oil sensitivity, etc. In the beginning, it was very hard to find products without it because palm oil is hidden in Natural Flavors as well as in hundreds of names.

It continues to be difficult eating outside our home. 

In addition to being in processed foods and restaurant foods, palm oil is in soap, deodorant, lotion, toothpaste, etc. 

Palm oil has been getting a lot of attention. You may be hearing about palm oil and wonder why it’s an issue.

Palm Oil bad for deforestation

Demand for palm oil continues to increase, inciting tremendous deforestation. When developers burn rainforests to make way for palm oil plantations, those rainforests are gone forever.

Think about the biodiversity in a rainforest. In Borneo, an island in Asia, scientists found over 15,000 plant species in the tropical rainforests. They are still discovering more.

Tropical rainforests contain 50% of the world’s plants and animals.

According to, the rainforests in Borneo and Sumatra are home to thousands of unique species. Among these are the world’s LAST-REMAINING Sumatran Rhinos, Sumatran Tigers, Borneo pygmy elephants, and orangutans.

In addition, the rainforests in Borneo and Sumatra are the ONLY PLACES ON EARTH all of these animals live together.

According to the Orangutan Foundation, in the 25 years between 1990 and 2015, 67.9 million acres were deforested in Indonesia.

Palm oil bad for the people who live there

Indigenous people and others live on these islands as well, and have for generations. Like the animals displaced by the plantations, they are affected negatively.

How is palm oil bad for rainforests?

The entire world depends on rainforests to produce oxygen and to clean the atmosphere.

Yet, these rainforests and their diverse ecosystems are being cleared — destroyed forever — to grow more palm oil.

How many rainforests are being cleared?

Every hour, 6,000 acres are cleared. That’s the equivalent of 4,000 football fields — per hour!

Everything that once thrived in the rainforest is gone.

The animals are driven from their homes. If they escape the fires, where do they go? Their habitats are destroyed.

Even more, then pollution becomes an issue. There are high levels of carbon dioxide and black carbon in the air from the fires.

why is palm oil bad

Why is palm oil in demand?

Palm oil is prevalent in many products for a variety of reasons. It’s a prized, multi-functional ingredient.

From a palm oil plantation owner’s perspective, it makes money.

Palm oil is a productive crop. Plantation owners can grow more palm oil per hectare than other oils. It grows quickly.

Also appealing is it requires minimal costs to grow compared to other commodities. Palm oil doesn’t require as many fertilizers or pesticides like other crops.

From a food manufacturer’s perspective, palm oil is typically less expensive than palm oil alternatives.

In addition, it’s a very versatile oil that can be added to dozens of different foods.

Remember, there are hundreds of names for palm oil derivatives. Each of those is able to do something different.

Some of the reasons food manufacturers use palm oil include:

  • Thickening
  • Preserving, adding to the shelf life
  • Keeping foods crunchy
  • Making foods chewy
  • To increase volume
  • Improve texture
  • Creating mouth feel
  • Palm oil remains stable at room temperature

Note, there are many ways to learn how to use less palm oil each week to lessen overall demand.

FDA banned trans fats in 2018

In the United States, food manufacturers are no longer able to use trans fats and trans fatty acids in foods. This regulation forced companies to find replacement ingredients. Many of them turned to palm oil.

Because of this, many packaged and processed foods that once were palm oil free now contain palm oil.

Think about desserts and confections in your grocery store. Cakes, cookies, scones, biscuits all contain palm oil ingredients now.

Palm oil common in non-food products

The same is true for companies using palm oil in self-care products, cleaning products and more: Money and versatility.

Because palm oil has so many applications, palm oil is very common in bar soap, liquid soap, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, cosmetics, etc.

What makes palm oil bad for our planet makes it good for manufacturers. Palm oil is versatile — it can do many things in all types of products — and it’s inexpensive.

There are scores of ways companies have learned to manipulate palm oil to do different things in all types of products. And because it’s inexpensive to use, companies continue to use palm oil in their products.

Some of the reasons palm oil is in hygiene and cosmetics is to:

  • Preserve, especially in liquids, creams, lotions
  • As a base for bar soaps and deodorants
  • To bind ingredients
  • Thickener
  • To blend ingredients
  • As an emollient
  • To create suds, foam
  • Pearly appearance
  • Makes products easy to apply
  • Helps products be non-greasy
  • Makes products easy to rinse off
  • Humectant and moistener
  • Surfactant and emulsifying agent
  • Enhances “skin feel” – soft feeling on application
  • Helps products glide on skin

Palm oil common in many products

Manufacturers also use palm oil in most all cleaning products. This includes cleaners and detergents that use “plant-based” and “plant-derived” ingredients. Many products advertise they are “free and clear” and environmentally friendly despite using unsustainable palm oil.

Demand for palm oil is also increasing for bio-fuel and many other products.

What’s the problem with palm oil?

Problem with unsustainable palm oil

Much of the problem is due to the lack of regulation. While there are sustainable palm oil options, they are difficult to regulate. It’s also difficult to know for sure palm oil is sustainable.

There are problems with what’s considered sustainable.

In addition, there aren’t clear rules for labeling palm oil on ingredient labels. “Vegetable oil” on a label doesn’t explain if there is palm oil in the product.

Also, with hundreds of names for palm oil derivatives, the everyday consumer doesn’t know that ingredient names such as Glycerin, Mono- & Diglycerides, and Sodium Palmate are often hidden names for palm oil.

It can be present in Natural Flavors as well.

Palm oil bad for earth

As the ongoing demand for palm oil increases, developers continue to clear and burn rainforests in Malaysia, Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia with no end in sight.

Many organizations and foundations are working hard to educate and create awareness about the problems with unsustainable palm oil. There are many animals on the verge of being extinct.

Health concerns ~ Is it high in saturated fat

Read what the experts have to say about palm oil health.

As noted above, we started this website because palm oil makes our son sick with allergy symptoms. Sometimes he is sick for days or weeks. 

These are the foods he eats and the personal care items he uses in order to live palm oil free. We do everything we can to avoid palm oil so he can stay healthy. We’ve found some items which make it easier to do so.

Where is the problem with palm oil?

The countries with the greatest to least palm oil production include:

  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Thailand
  • Columbia
  • Nigeria
  • Ecuador

Orangutans and palm oil

The orangutan has become the face of the problem with the increasing demand for palm oil and deforestation. Ongoing deforestation affects orangutans as well as other animals because:

  • Loss of habitat
  • Species lost, hurt and killed

why is palm oil badThere are many organizations and foundations which create awareness and help save orangutans. In addition, many are protecting and saving the rainforests. Some of these include:

Palm oil free certification trademark labeling

There are two organizations who work to verify products are palm oil free. Products can earn Palm Oil Free labeling much like products that use Vegan labeling or Cruelty-Free labels.

Food and non-food companies can apply for their entire brand’s portfolio of products or for individual products.

International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme (POFCAP)

This is an independent, not-for-profit certified trademark program based in Australia.

To date, the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme is qualified to certify products as palm oil free in 19 countries, including the United States. Other countries include England, Spain, Norway, France, Australia, Belguim, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

This means that their palm oil free label is approved, valid and recognized in these countries. 

POFCAP has researched hundreds of names for palm oil ingredients.

Some companies which have certified their products through POFCAP include: Loom Designs, MSM Milling, OmMade Organic Skincare, Red Ape Cinnamon, Wild Friends Foods, and more. 

Orangutan Alliance

This is an independent, non-profit organization and registered charity based in Australia. Orangutan Alliance promotes reducing non-sustainable palm oil in consumer products.

Some of the companies and brands which have products certified palm oil free include: Nuttiva Hazelnut Spread, Hawkers Snacks, The Protein Ball Co., Ethique, Viva la Body, and more. 

Think palm oil is a problem?

Become an Educated Consumer. Read labels. Buy products with less ingredients. Avoid products with “palm” in the ingredient labels. Learn about which companies are truly using sustainable palm oil.

The increasing demand for palm oil is taking a toll on the environment.

Among many environmental concerns, large-scale deforestation continues to destroy wildlife’s habitats. Better-known examples include orangutans and Sumatra tigers which experts predict will be extinct from the wild in the upcoming years.

What makes palm oil bad is developers continue to burn rainforests to plan palm oil plantations. From an environmental standpoint, palm oil is a huge concern.

As cited above, palm oil plantations are replacing rainforests at an alarming rate. The implications from this are far-reaching. Palm oil is a very productive crop. It’s inexpensive to grow, and owners can grow more of it per hectare than other oils. However, there are things you can do to ensure you are buying sustainable palm oil and by products without it entirely.

Lotion Without Palm Oil ~ List of Palm Oil Free Moisturizer


Palm oil is common in lotions, creams and moisturizers because it’s inexpensive and versatile. Companies use it as a preservative. It also works as an emollient to soften the skin. Here’s a list of lotion without palm oil.

Read labels, and choose lotions with the least amount of ingredients to lessen your chance of palm oil.

There are many ways companies disguise palm oil in self-care products.

We became aware of palm oil in lotion because our child has allergic reactions to palm oil. Palm oil allergy / intolerance 

Palm oil derivatives in lotion

Take a look at the ingredients in some moisturizers and lotions you already own. What’s in them?

While you likely won’t see “palm oil” listed in the ingredients, you will see palm oil derivatives such as:

  • Ascorbyl Palmitate
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
  • Caprylyl Glycol
  • Ceteareth 30,  Ceteareth 20
  • Cetearyl Glucoside
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Coco Caprylate
  • Dimethicone
  • Elaeis Guineensis
  • Ethylexylglycerin
  • Ethylhexylglycerin
  • Ethylhexyl Palmitate
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerin (Vegetable)
  • Glyceryl Caprylate
  • Glyceryl Monostearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate
  • Laureth-7
  • Palmitoyl Oligopeptide
  • Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38
  • PEG-4 Laurate, PEG-4 Dilaurate
  • PEG-40 Stearate
  • PEG-100 Stearate
  • Polyethylene Glycol Monostearate
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sorbitan Tristearate
  • Stearic Acid
  • Stearoyl Glutamate
  • Stearyl Alcohol
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • Tocopherol (with or without Vitamin E listed)

Typically, there will be more than one palm oil ingredient in lotion, making them easy to find on labels.

Unless the company lists the source of an ingredient — as in Tocopherol (Sunflower) — you won’t know whether it’s made from palm oil unless you contact them. Palm oil derivatives are common in face creams, lotions, moisturizers, etc.

Lotion without palm oil

Support these companies who make palm oil free lotions, creams and moisturizers. They are the exception in this industry.

Most of these brands also list all of their ingredients transparently on their websites.

Even more, some of these companies make all of their products palm oil free.

Please note, we do not warrant that the ingredient, sourcing, allergen, and product information is accurate or complete. Our information comes from product manufacturers. Certified Palm Oil Free labeling from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme is the only way to determine products are 100% palm oil free. 

palm free balm


  • After Sun Balm
  • Aromatic Chest Rub
  • Baby Balm
  • Badger Balm
  • Badger Balm Unscented: Contains just two ingredients: Organic extra virgin olive oil and organic beeswax.
  • Belly Butter
  • Damascus Rose Beauty Balm
  • Foot Balm
  • Tattoo Balm

It’s easy to find the ingredients in each of Badger’s balms on their website.

Be aware of companies who make it difficult to find their products’ ingredients.

moisturizer without palm oilBooda Organics

  • Booda Butter Daily Moisturizer
    • Spread the Love, 2.3 oz
    • Tub of Love, 8.4 oz

Booda Butter is available two sizes. It contains just five ingredients.

Their ingredients are Certified Organic & Unrefined.

Ingredients: Fair Trade Shea Butter, Fair Trade Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, and Jojoba Oil. 

Booda Organics confirmed their products are palm oil free.

butter block without palm oil


  • Ethique Butter Blocks
    • Sweet Orange & Vanilla
    • Coconut & Lime
    • Jasmine & Ylang Ylang
  • Peppermint & Tea Tree Foot Balm
  • Love Baby Bar Baby Massage Bar

Ethique makes all of their products, including these Butter Blocks and Bars, without palm oil.

Their products are certified Palm Oil Free by Orangutan Alliance.

Ethique spells out each ingredient. They also have an “Our Ingredients” page which explains the SOURCE of each ingredient.

In addition, they explain how the ingredients aren’t derived from palm oil and what they use instead.

palm free face moisturizer
palm oil free facial moisturizer

The Fanciful Fox

  • Best Buds Body Butter
  • Body Lotion
    • Beatnik Poet
    • Fire Dance
    • Lucid Dream
    • Pink Wednesday
    • Oats I Did It Again
  • Bright Eyes: Eye Cream
  • Facial Moisturizer
    • About Face
    • Present Perfect
    • Blemish Buster
    • Save Face
  • Hand & Body Moisturizer
    • Sweetie Pie Whipped Cream
    • Unicorn Dreams Whipped Cream
  • Naked Baby Mild Lotion

They list their ingredients on their website. Their owner verified all of their products are palm oil free.

face and body cream without palm oil

Fat and the Moon

  • All Cream
  • Aloe Lotion
  • Face Oil
  • Love Thyself Bod Oil
  • Moon Fat Bod Oil

Here is another company who lists their ingredients on their website. Also, they make all of their other products without palm oil and palm oil derivatives.

Freedom Soap Co.

Freedom Soap Co.

  • Whipped Shea Butter

They make all of their bar soaps and other products without palm oil. You can find all of their ingredients easily on their website.

Also note, Freedom Soap Co. has taken extra steps to apply for and earn palm oil free certification. All of Freedom Soap Co.’s products are Orangutan Alliance Certified Palm Oil Free.

Kilted Suds lotion

Kilted Suds

  • Breath with Eucalyptus & Mint
  • Chamomile with Hemp Seed Oil
  • Citrus with Hemp Seed Oil
  • Creative
  • Dathuil
  • French Vanilla
  • Gnat Away Solid Lotion Stick
  • Groovy Wombat Lotion
  • Hibiscus
  • Lilac & Lily
  • Muscle Relief Massage Butter
  • Patchouli
  • Pumpkin Spice with Hemp Seed Oil
  • Rainforest Lotion with Hemp Seed Oil
  • Sleep with Lavender and Cedar

Kilted Suds makes all of their lotions and and other products without palm oil.

They also list the ingredients for all of their products on their website. The owner confirmed the Tocopherols, Cetearyl Alcohol and Coco-Glucoside they use are not derived from palm oil. Instead, they use olive oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil.

Simply Eden

  • Foot and Body Balm
    • Peppermint & Lavender
    • with Immune-Supportive Essential Oils

Their Peppermint & Lavender balm is handmade with six ingredients: Beeswax, Sunflower Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Lavender Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil.

Also, it’s easy to find the ingredients for their lotions on their website.

organic lotion bar without palm oil derivatives
Unearth Malee – palm oil free organic lotion bar

Unearth Malee

  • Body Butter
    • Citrus Woods Organic
    • French Lavender Organic
    • Prickly Pear
  • Organic Lotion Bar
    • Ginger Lemongrass
    • Jasmine Mint
    • Lavender Chai
    • Patchouli Orange
    • Prickly Pear
  • Treatment Balm
    • Ginseng
    • Thai Herbal Muscle Rub
    • Turmeric Anti-Inflammatory

Unearth Malee makes all of their self-care products, including these butters, lotions and balms, without palm oil.

Palm oil common in all types of lotions

Whether you use an “all purpose” lotion or one specifically for eyes, hands, feet, body or face, there is likely palm oil in it. Body butters contain palm oil. Baby lotions and creams contain it. It’s common in foot cream, hand moisturizers and eye cream.

While scented lotions generally contain more ingredients, unscented lotions still contain palm oil derivatives.

Hypoallergenic lotions also contain palm oil.

The majority of the lotions you will find in grocery stores and stores such as Walgreens, CVS, Rite-Aid, Target, Walmart, Trader Joes, Sprouts, Whole Foods, Costco, etc., will contain palm oil.

Remember, palm oil has many uses and is a versatile product. It’s also very inexpensive for manufacturers to use.

The very best thing you can do is read labels. If the lotion has a long list of chemical names — many of them are above — you can be sure they aren’t palm oil free.

The only way to know for certain is if the product is Palm Oil Free certified.

Second best is to ask the company — ask them to check with their R&D department — specifically about each ingredient. Most customer service reps will not know the source of the ingredients.

Watch for “natural” lotions

Note, even in brands, labeling and packaging you may perceive to be “natural, healthy, and earth-friendly,” there may be palm oil ingredients. Companies who advertise them as vegan and cruelty-free can still contain palm oil.

Plant-derived lotions

In self-care products, marketers use buzzwords such as “Plant-Derived.” This may mean the creme or moisturizer contains palm oil.

Natural ingredients in lotions

You might also see labeling advertising the lotion is “Natural” or made using “Natural Ingredients.” This is another marketing tool. Palm oil is considered “natural.”

Using less lotion

Using less of something with palm oil in it is a way to lessen overall demand. What can you do? Try skipping a day or using less lotion each time you apply it. Make small changes and find ways to use less palm oil.

Palm oil free lotion

There are many reasons consumers seek out palm oil free moisturizers and lotions. Many avoid palm oil for the environmental implications. Others avoid it for health reasons.

This is a list of the personal care items our son uses without palm oil. 

Vote with your dollars and buy palm free lotion. Ask companies about their ingredients. Thank companies who are making lotions without palm oil.

Remember, when companies advertise lotions as non-allergenic, hypo-allergenic, natural, or plant-derived, these too can contain palm ingredients hidden under other names.

Do you know other palm oil free creams, lotions, and moisturizers? Please leave them in the Comments so we can all support these brands. Why do you seek out these types of products? Please let us know in the Comments.

This list is not guaranteed; use it as a starting point. Remember, Certified Palm Oil Free labeling from the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme ensures products are 100% palm oil free. 

Ice Cream Without Palm Oil ~ List of Palm Oil Free Ice Cream


It’s always a great time for ice cream! But did you know it often contains palm oil? Here’s a list of ice cream without palm oil.

Take a few seconds to read the ingredients; don’t just buy whatever ice cream is on sale.

Some ice cream brands use better quality ingredients than others. Palm oil is cheap; therefore, it’s widely used in store brands and other inexpensive brands.

Also, the more complicated the flavor, the more ingredients it likely has. When there are more ingredients, there is a greater chance it will have palm oil. Choose simple flavors.

We offer more tips below.

To the best of our knowledge, these ice creams are free from palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Please use it as a reference point as you do your own due diligence. This is list not guaranteed.

You will only know for certain if something is palm oil free if it has earned the Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark by the International Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark Programme.  

Ice cream without palm oil

Ben & Jerry’s

There is one brand that always makes palm oil free ice cream: Ben & Jerry’s. You can safely choose any of their amazing flavors. Scroll down for palm free flavors from other brands.

Whatever flavor you crave, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream has found a way to make it without palm oil and palm oil derivatives.

On their website, you have to search “palm oil” to find anything about it. And then it’s just their values sourcing page. We weren’t able to find any mention of “palm oil free” anywhere else. We hope Ben & Jerry’s will showcase this on their site as it’s very rare.

Here are most of their pint flavors. Please note, they have many more palm oil free ice creams, frozen yogurts and dairy free choices on their website.

ice cream without palm oil
All flavors are palm oil free
  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • Chocolate Shake It
  • Vanilla Toffee Bar Crunch
  • Cold Brew Caramel Latte
  • Ice Cream Sammie
  • It’s Ice… Cream
  • Red, White & Blueberry
  • Brownie Batter Core
  • Cookies & Cream Cheesecake Core
  • Karamel Sutra Core
  • Peanut Butter Fudge Core
  • Salted Caramel Core
  • Boom Chocolatta Cookie Core
  • Peanut Buttah Cookie Core
  • Americone Dream
  • Banana Split
  • Bob Marley’s One Love
  • Bourbon Pecan Pie
  • Brewed to Matter
  • Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Cherry Garcia
  • Chillin’ the Roast
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Chocolate Therapy
  • Chubby Hubby
  • Chunky Monkey
  • Cinnamon Buns
  • Coffee Toffee Bar Crunch
  • Coffee, Coffee, BuzzBuzzBuzz
  • Everything But The…
  • Gimme S’more!
  • Glampfire Trail Mix
  • Half Baked
  • Milk & Cookies
  • Mint Chocolate Cookie
  • Minter Wonderland
  • New York Super Fudge Chunk
  • Oat of This Swirled
  • Peanut Butter Cup
  • Peanut Butter World
  • Phish Food
  • Pistachio Pistachio
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Red Velvet Cake
  • S’mores
  • Salted Caramel Almond
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • The Tonight Dough
  • Triple Caramel Chunk
  • Truffle Kerfuffle
  • Urban Bourbon
  • Vanilla
  • Vanilla Caramel Fudge

Researching ice cream brands

To learn about the way palm oil is used in ice cream, we went to four grocery stores. We looked at all of the ice cream brands with sizes greater than 473.17 milliliters (one pint). There were 18 brands.

We learned all of the store brands contained some type of palm oil ingredient and/or palm oil derivative.

Buy name brand ice cream to better avoid palm oil.

Of those 18 brands, there were 282 flavors that didn’t repeat. We researched the labels from these 282 unique brand and flavor combinations.

(We didn’t include Ben & Jerry’s in the research because we knew they are palm oil free and because we researched ice cream containers larger than one pint.)

Palm oil free ice cream

These are the brands and flavors we found in our local stores that didn’t contain palm oil or palm oil derivatives on their labels. This list is meant to be a starting point. Know that ingredients and vendors change. This list isn’t guaranteed, especially when it comes to Natural Flavors.*

Note, we don’t list any store brands here. We researched five store brands, and all of their flavors contained palm oil in some form. Most contained two or more palm oil ingredients and/or derivatives.

These ice creams do not list palm oil ingredients or palm oil derivatives on their labels. We’ve made notes to exceptions where we reached out to them for additional information.

Alden’s Organic

  • Chocolate
  • Cookies & Cream (It’s very rare to see a palm oil free cookies & cream ice cream.)
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Salted Caramel
  • French Vanilla
  • Peanut Butter Fudge
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl

This is for Alden’s Organic Ice Cream in 1.42 liter / 1.5 quart size. A representative from Alden’s Organic confirmed these are palm oil free.

They are very transparent in that they list all of their ingredients for each of their products on their website.

When Alden’s Organic Ice Cream uses palm oil, it’s in the form of “palm kernel oil” and is clearly labeled. They don’t use palm oil derivatives such as monoglycerides.

Note: Their pint-sized Crushin On Cookies & Mint is palm oil free (which is also rare).

Blue Bell Creameries

palm oil free ice cream

  • Black Walnut
  • Rocky Road
  • Natural Vanilla Bean
  • Pistachio Almond
  • Cherry Vanilla
  • Ultimate Neopolitan
  • Spiced Pumpkin Pecan
  • French Vanilla
  • The Great Divide
  • Strawberry and Homemade Vanilla
  • Dutch Chocolate
  • Homemade Vanilla
  • Keylime Mango Tart
  • Coffee
  • Tin Roof

These Blue Bell flavors are in 1.89 liters (half gallon).

They don’t list any palm oil ingredients or derivatives on their ingredient labels.

From personal experience, my son has safely enjoyed Blue Bell’s Dutch Chocolate Ice Cream.


  • Chocolate
  • Natural Strawberry
  • Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Natural Vanilla

Note, Breyers makes four different Vanilla flavors. They all pretty much look the same except for their name. Be sure to choose Breyers Natural Vanilla.

Their Natural Vanilla is the only one that doesn’t contain mono- and diglycerides. In addition, it contains just five ingredients.

These are their flavors in the 1.41 liter (1.5 quart) size. They list their ingredients on their website through SmartLabel.

Also note, from personal experience, my son has eaten these Breyers ice cream flavors safely, with no symptoms. We believe them to be fully palm oil free.


  • Butter Pecan
  • Coffee
  • Slow Churned:
    • French Vanilla
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Classic Vanilla
    • Caramel Delight
    • Strawberry
    • Butter Pecan
    • Coffee
    • Chocolate
  • Neopolitan
  • Strawberry
  • French Vanilla
  • Vanilla
  • Vanilla Bean

This is for Dreyer’s 1.41 liter (1.5 quart) containers.

Dreyers is transparent in listing their ingredients for their ice creams on their website. These were Dreyers ice cream flavors we found that didn’t list any type of palm oil ingredients or derivatives on their labels.

Lactaid (lactose free)

  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla
  • Mint Chocolate Chip

This is for Lactaid’s 946.35 milliliter / one quart size. They list all of their ingredients on their website. These three flavors didn’t have any questionable ingredients on their labels.

Straus Family Creamery Organic

  • Dutch Chocolate
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip

We researched Straus Organic in their 946.35 milliliter / one quart size. They make “super premium” ice cream.

You can search on their website, and find they list the ingredients for all of their ice creams under “Nutritional Information” for each flavor and size. The information is very easy to find.

Like the others in our list, we found these Straus Organic flavors didn’t list any type of palm oil ingredients on their labels.


  • Banana Split
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Buttered Maple Pancakes
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Coffee Almond Fudge
  • Oregon Hazelnut & Salted Caramel
  • Rocky Road
  • Tillamook Mudslide
  • Malted Moo Shake
  • Old-Fashioned Vanilla
  • French Vanilla
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Salted Butterscotch
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  • Caramel Butter Pecan
  • Creamy PB&J
  • Oregon Strawberry
  • Old-Fashioned Strawberry
  • Oregon Dark Cherry
  • Coffee Almond Fudge
  • Mountain Huckleberry
  • Mudslide
  • Udderly Chocolate
  • Chocolate Cherry Fudge

This is for Tillamook’s 1.66 liter size (1.75 quarts). When you click on one of Tillamook’s flavors, the ingredients as well as other information comes up easily.

These flavors do not list any of the palm oil ingredients and derivatives commonly found in ice cream. A representative from Tillamook confirmed these Tillamook ice cream flavors don’t contain palm oil.

Turkey Hill

Please note, this is their “All Natural” line of ice creams.

  • All Natural:
    • Vanilla Bean & Chocolate
    • Butter Almond & Chocolate
    • Belgian Style Chocolate
    • Mint Chocolate Chip
    • Salted Caramel
    • Vanilla Bean
    • Chocolate Peanut Butter
    • Homemade Vanilla
    • Butter Pecan

This is for their 1.41 liter (1.5 quart) containers. You can see all of their flavors and ingredients easily online.

(Note, The Kroger Company sold Turkey Hill to Peak Rock Capital.)

Make sure to choose Turkey Hill’s All Natural line of ice cream.

All of these flavors listed here do not have any palm oil derivatives or palm oil ingredients on their ingredient labels.

We emailed Turkey Hill about their other ice creams that contain monoglycerides, diglycerides and propylene glycol. The representative said they are not derived from palm oil, and that they are used as stabilizers in some of their products. However, we didn’t include them in this list.

Yes! We loved seeing this “How Many Ingredients Chart” on Turkey Hill’s website. Check it out!

Palm oil ingredients in ice cream

When you look at ice cream ingredient labels, some names for palm oil will be easy to spot. They are the ones that contain the word “palm” in them. Some examples are Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Vitamin A Palmitate, and Palm Oil with TBHQ.

However, there are others that are considered “palm oil derivatives.” These are ingredients that are made using palm oil but don’t have the “palm” in the name. Unless you check with the manufacturer, you won’t know whether these contain palm oil.

Some examples of palm oil derivatives common in ice cream are Mono & Diglycerides, Monoglycerides, Propylene Glycol, and Polysorbate 80.

In the 282 ice creams we researched, there were a total of 20 different palm oil ingredients and derivatives listed in the ingredients:

  • Palm Oil
  • Palm Kernel Oil
  • Fractionated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Glycerin
  • Glycerol
  • Glycerol Monostearate
  • Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
  • Mixed Tocopherols/Vitamin E
  • Mono & Diglycerides
  • Monoglycerides
  • Organic Palm Kernel Oil
  • Organic Palm Oil
  • Palm Kernel Oil with TBHQ
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Palm Oil with Citric Acid
  • Palm Oil with TBHQ
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Propylene Glycol Monoesters
  • Propylene Glycol Monostearate
  • Vitamin A Palmitate

Most common palm oil derivatives in ice cream

After researching ice cream containers (larger than one pint) at grocery stores, the most common palm oil derivatives are:

  • Mono & Diglycerides
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Vitamin A Palmitate
  • Propylene Glycol Monostearate
  • Glycerol
  • Monoglycerides

Ice cream without palm oil

We continue to reach out to ice cream companies and hope to have more to add to this list. We hope ice cream companies will come to realize “Palm Oil Free” is a marketing advantage.

There is a difference between Ice Cream and Frozen Dessert

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has different requirements for Ice Cream versus Frozen Dessert.

Again, here’s where it’s important to read labels. We’ve found Frozen Dessert cartons near the big party tubs of ice cream. They are made with vegetable oils and typically contain palm oil.

Just as the FDA has different requirements for “chocolate” versus “chocolate flavored,” there are different requirements regarding ingredients in ice cream, frozen custard, frozen yogurt, and frozen dessert.

The FDA has different requirements to determine whether manufacturers can call their product “ice cream” which is of a higher quality than “frozen dessert.”

Email companies to ask about the source of their ingredients

We have been emailing ice cream companies to ask them the source of their ingredients.

Often, companies sidetrack the question by referring us to their ingredients pages. However, the ingredients usually don’t spell out the source — especially if they are made from palm oil.

As an example, the Polysorbate 80 would be listed but wouldn’t say whether it was made with palm oil. What is Polysorbate 80 made from? You have no way of knowing.

Overall, most of the time, we haven’t been getting exact answers to our specific questions. Often we receive “canned answers” as they must have rules when answering questions about palm oil.

Sometimes companies reply with a statement about how they use RSPO sustainable palm oil.

Other times, they say the ingredient is derived from “natural sources” or “vegetable oil.”

When we ask, “What type of vegetable oil,” or “Is this ingredient sourced from palm oil,” or “Does this ingredient contain any palm oil,” they often do not answer.

Even after sending them the specific UPC code and asking them specifically about the source of one or more ingredients — “Are the mono- and diglycerides derived from palm oil in this product?” — many companies still wouldn’t answer.

They respond saying the information is “proprietary.”

If a company doesn’t respond to our questions, we believe they are hiding something.

One exception is Kroger Family of Stores who answered all of our questions outright. See more information at the bottom of this post.

Palm oil in ice cream

Palm oil is used in ice cream for many reasons. It adds to the mouth feel and texture, making it smooth and creamy. Companies can use it as an emulsifier and a stabilizer.

Since the FDA banned trans-fats in the United States, companies needed to find alternate ingredients for ice cream and other foods.

How to find ice cream without palm oil

Read labels.

Avoid any ice cream that includes Palm Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Vitamin A Palmitate, and anything with palm- in the name.

Then, once that becomes a habit, you can take it a step further and choose ice cream without Mono- and Diglycerides.

After that, you can choose products that don’t list Polysorbate 80 and Propylene Glycol.

Don’t buy big party pails.

Large grocery stores often sell a store brand ice cream bucket.

Remember, the ice cream is cheap for a reason. It includes palm oil in some form.

Big ice cream party pails may be appealing if you have a large family or are having a party. However, for a few dollars extra, you will make a big impact and have better quality ice cream by choosing a different container.

Shop sales in advance, and buy palm oil free instead.

Buy “name brand” ice cream.

Palm oil and/or palm oil derivatives were in every single carton of store brand ice cream we researched.

Again, store brands are meant to be less expensive than the name brand competitors. No name, generic brands use palm oil to keep their costs down.

Choose ice cream with less ingredients.

Some of these ice creams have as few as five ingredients. Others, those with palm oil, can have 10 – 15 or more.

With the exception of Ben & Jerry’s, more complicated flavors — cookie crumbles, candy add-ins, chunks, swirls, etc. — mean a greater likelihood of palm oil.

The cheaper the ice cream brand, the greater the chance of palm oil and palm oil derivatives.

Some name brand ice cream is less expensive than other brand names.

Why is one brand overall less expensive than the others? They most likely are using palm oil derivatives instead of higher quality, “real” ingredients.

Make sure you are buying “Ice Cream” and not “Frozen Dessert.”

Frozen dessert has less strict requirements about what it needs to contain, thereby increasing the likelihood of palm oil.

Stick with the brands and flavors you know are palm oil free.

Use this list to guide you to find ice cream without palm oil. Also remember that Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream is palm free.

Choose organic.

For certain, organic ice cream and organic packaged foods can contain palm oil. However, there is often less chance of them using palm oil derivatives.

Buy a simple palm oil free vanilla or chocolate and add in your mix-ins.

Make your own combinations.

You can add palm oil free peanut butter, marshmallows, chocolate chips, Milk Chocolate M&Ms, sliced bananas, strawberries, palm oil free cookies, and more.

Watch for mono- and diglycerides in chocolate syrup.

Ice cream sprinkles and jimmies often contain hydrogenated palm kernel oil, palm oil, glycerin as well as other palm oil derivatives.

Ice cream cones and waffle bowls often contain vegetable oil shortening made with palm oil.

Make your own.

You can make your own ice cream at home for a fun family activity.

Another option is to slice and freeze bananas. If you have a Vitamix or other mixer, you can blend them with a teaspoon of vanilla and 100% cacao powder for sweet treat that has the consistency of ice cream.

Soft serve ice cream

Know that many soft serve ice cream in sit-down and fast food restaurants contains palm oil derivatives such as mono- and diglycerides.

You will have to contact the manufacturer in advance to find out the source of the mono- and diglycerides they use. They likely won’t know at the store as the source doesn’t need to be labeled.

Thank you to Ben & Jerry’s

Many people avoid palm oil for environmental concerns. On a personal note, my son gets sick from palm oil and palm oil derivatives. As anyone who has a child with food issues will tell you, it’s an incredible feeling when your child has safe choices.

Incredibly, my son can walk to the freezer section, and pick ANY Ben & Jerry’s flavor he wants. He can choose! He’s not limited in any way. And we don’t have to stress over the ingredients, what to buy, or about him getting sick.

The ice cream we have at home is the one food category in which he doesn’t feel like he is missing out. He has enjoyed 10+ flavors and hasn’t experienced any reactions.

Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream for making ALL of your flavors without palm oil.

I will never be able to convey what it means to not have to watch, not have to worry, and not have to wonder what’s safe and if he will get sick.

It’s also wonderful to be able to tell friends and relatives they can buy “any Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream” for him easily.

This is a list of foods my son eats safely.

These are items we use which make it easier to avoid palm oil.

palm oil free ice cream
Courtesy of Upsplash

Disclaimer and positive praise for Kroger

  • Please note that when we contacted ice cream companies, none of them were quick to admit to using palm oil and palm oil derivatives. Many times, customer service representatives did not answer questions even when we gave them the UPC code and asked specifically for the source of their (mono- and diglycerides, natural flavors, etc.).

Other times, they gave us conflicting information. We were not able to get clear answers on ice creams that use “Natural Flavors.”

Many companies responded with how that information is “proprietary.” Therefore, if you are avoiding palm oil for health reasons, be sure to avoid the ones with Natural Flavors unless you contact them.

“Natural Flavors” and “Natural Flavor” can contain palm oil. Natural Flavors may exist in these ice creams.

Kroger Family of Stores is the exception. They went above and beyond to get the information we asked for.

Instead of responding with stock answers, a customer service representative from Kroger Family of Stores sent our inquiries to their R&D and their suppliers. They told us the vendor for the source of the oils were derived from palm and soy oils. While we didn’t include them in our palm oil free list above, we thought it was important to mention Kroger for their honesty and transparency when answering our questions.

Finding palm oil free ice cream

As consumers rush through the grocery store, we are conditioned to make quick buying decisions, often based on price and what’s on sale.

By taking a few extra seconds to read ingredient labels, you can make a palm oil free choice. This will send a message to companies.

Generally speaking…

Higher quality ingredients and less ingredients = Less chance of palm oil

It’s available; you just need to know what to look for on the ice cream cartons. Once you find your favorite palm free brands and flavors, stock up when they are on sale.

Ice cream without palm oil is available. Let companies know consumers are paying attention. Write to them. Buy ice cream without it. Why do you buy palm free ice cream? Please let us know in the Comments.

We’ve noted which companies confirmed which of their flavors are palm oil free. We are grateful to them for responding and for making all or some of their ice cream flavors without palm oil.

To the best of our knowledge, these ice creams do not list palm oil ingredients or palm oil derivatives in their ingredients. Use this list as a starting point but please know it’s not guaranteed. Please do your own due diligence. Also, please remember to read labels every time.