Every once in a while someone gets very alarmed by my use of palm shortening in a recipe. The standard practice for harvesting palm trees for palm oil destroys tropical forests and habitats of endangered species, so it’s definitely an important concern! I buy Tropical Traditions palm shortening, which comes from “small scale family farms in South America. These farmers are certified by ProForest, which ensures that they meet strict social, environmental and technical criteria. With regard to environmental criteria, the assessments are carried out at the landscape and operational level at both the farms and processing facilities. These assessments cover environmental impact on the soil, water, air, biodiversity and local communities. The lands the farmers use are not lands that were deforested. The lands used to grow the palm fruit are lands previously used for agricultural purposes (cattle, rice, banana).” [quote from TropicalTradidions.com]. Palm shortening is very useful in paleo baking due to its unique chemistry. I typically use it in place of butter (because I can’t do any dairy) in baking or when the lack of flavor is important in a recipe. It can be used to make some very delicious smooth frostings and it’s also a great fat for deep frying.