If you’re just joining this series, it began with: Healthy Food Tip #4: Beware of Food Companies That Lie.
This was followed by a letter to the Palmer Candy Company regarding the harmful ingredients they put in their products —specifically Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs).
Most recently (after Palmer failed to respond in a timely manner) I took the liberty of rewriting their “Quality Pledge” in The Palmer Candy Company Doesn’t Care About Your Kids.
The other day, I did finally receive the following response:
Thank you for expressing interest in Palmer products and your disappointment that we use Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernel).
First of all, let us assure you Palmer is very concerned about our consumers. It is our corporate policy is to produce candy novelties that are not only attractive but designed to delight the hearts of consumers during the holidays.
A fat is required in order to hold the solids together in our products and to melt in your mouth combining the flavors of the other ingredients. Since our products must be shipped, stored and eaten in a solid state, that fat must be one that is solid at room temperature and slightly above. Generally, partially hydrogenated fats provide both the stability and performance that is needed.
The category ‘partially hydrogenated,’ covers oils which are barely hydrogenated all the way to ones almost fully hydrogenated. We select oils which are as least hydrogenated as possible, yet provide the characteristics necessary to maintain the qualities in our products that our customers both expect and deserve.
We continue to look for and test alternative oils, in order to further reduce hydrogenization in our oils.
We at R.M. Palmer care about our consumers and it will continue to be our pledge to provide you with wholesome products.
Again, thank you for writing and we hope you will seek our delicious Palmer quality products in the future.
R. M. PALMER COMPANY”
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Although I want you to reach your own conclusion about the response I received, I can’t keep these burning questions to myself:
If other companies, some of which are chocolate companies that require the same “performance qualities” mentioned above, have found healthier ingredients to replace PHOs, why hasn’t Palmer?
Am I supposed to feel better because they use oils with lower amounts of PHOs? If there’s only a little poison in their candy?
If someone told you that feeding your kids a cup of Comet could kill them, would feeding them a teaspoon a week be acceptable?
And remember, you are not alone…
– Ban Trans Fats
– What’s Wrong with Partially Hydrogenated Oils?
– The latest U.S. health safety distraction ploy: Blame China!
– Recovery Medicine
– 6 Rules To Avoid Eating Bad Fats, by Ban Trans Fats.com
– Healthy Food Tip #1: Decoding PLU Codes For Better Health