Believing in Balance

Posted on Posted in Events and media, Tips & Tricks


Chef educates bloggers about sustainable ingredients such as palm oil

Like many chefs, Gerard Viverito is passionate about preparing food with only the highest quality ingredients. What sets him apart, however, is his unending drive to share his passion for healthy and good-for-the-planet foods with others. In addition to making regular TV and radio appearances, Viverito speaks at blogger events and often works with these modern-day influencers to create custom content for their websites and social channels. In this example, Viverto granted an interview to the Believe in Balance blog. He talked about the importance of learning about food’s origin, and why he uses Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil.

Viverito began by sharing stories about his youth and explaining what drives his interest. “In addition to being passionate about sustainability, I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. I’ve never been one to just accept what I’m told or what I read on the internet. Instead, I’ve got to experience things for myself. I’ve been fortunate to travel the world. I’ve seen firsthand how different cultures protect their natural resources. There’s no better way to understand the concept of being a citizen of the world.”

Viverito urged readers to take responsibility for learning about their food. “Learn where your food comes from. I’m not just talking about buying local – although that’s nearly always a great idea – but also understand that there are entire countries that put a high priority on caring for our world’s natural resources. Make time to read the food labels.”

He told readers to stop using GMO cooking oils. “Use palm oil instead of canola, soy or corn oils. Palm oil is non-GMO and versatile for most high-heat applications. Palm oil is one of the most widely consumed products on the planet and can also be found in many of America’s biggest brands.

“Much of our palm oil comes from Malaysia, where it is certified sustainable. (MSPO is a new logo you might soon see on packaged foods.) I’ve walked through the Malaysian oil palm plantations. Malaysians are diligent about protecting the rainforests and wildlife.

“Don’t buy into the no-palm oil movement. The oil palm is about 10 times more productive than all other oil-bearing crops.

“Without the oil palm, the amount of deforestation needed to plant other oil crops to feed the world would be unimaginable. So, instead of saying “no palm oil” insist on only certified sustainable palm oil.”

He added, “Read the ingredients of each and every food product you purchase. Look for products made with healthier oils, such as palm oil or olive oil, and because sustainability matters, support companies which use certified sustainable and responsibly sourced Malaysian palm oil.”

Believe in Balance posted this interview on their website and on their social channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. It has been shared more than 40 times, magnifying its impact.