Surrounded by intelligent women I have little choice but to become fully aware of the latest trends. Palm oil and Ultra-processed foods are the current focus but, luckily for me, we do not simply ‘jumping on the band-wagon’ of either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but trying to understand the science behind the hype.

Pam oil was a real eye opener – just by how omni-present it has become. The first thing to note is that it goes by over 200 names. It is relatively easy to identify in foods but is also found in many toiletries and cleaning products and indirectly through animal feeds.

So useful is it that worldwide demand is expected to grow sixfold in the next twenty years.

On the plus side it is relatively easy to grow and comparatively ‘space efficient’ needing just 10% of the land needed to grow the same volume of cocoanut oil. Even then there is a downside as it grows best in rain-forest conditions.

Ultra-processed foods offer a different challenge – they sit at the other end of the spectrum to natural or unprocessed foods and typically have 5 or more ingredients, added to make the natural food more appealing to our increasingly distorted pallets
While they are easier to spot and to avoid – the question is do we really want to?!

One thing I do know is that next year we will be worrying about something different!