Tropical Traditions Organic Palm Shortening 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). Palm shortening is palm oil that has some of its unsaturated fats removed, giving it a very firm texture, and high melting point. It is NOT hydrogenised, and contains NO trans fats! It is great for deep-fat frying and baking, and is not prone to rancidity. It is colorless and odorless, and will not affect the taste of foods. Although scarcely used in the US any longer, palm oil is the most heavily consumed dietary oil in the world after soybean oil. If one were to exclude the US where most of the world's soybean oil is consumed, palm oil would be the most popular dietary oil in the world. Palm oil traditionally has been used for baking, shortenings, margarines and deep fat frying, as it is shelf stable with a high melting point and does NOT require hydrogenation. Therefore, it contains no trans fatty acids. Saturated fats, such as tropical oils like palm and coconut, as well as butter, have traditionally been considered healthy fats and oils. In modern history, commercial interests have condemned saturated fats and replaced them in the American diet with polyunsaturated fats that are hydrogenised and contain trans fatty acids, which most people now consider harmful. These trans fatty acids were banned in some European countries as early as 2004. Some cities in the US are now banning trans fats in restaurants as well.