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Apr 25, 2022
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“Spread” for oil: Is Russia facing a fat crisis?

Photo: Valery Matytsin/TASS

Starting from May 2022, Russia may face a shortage of fats: margarines and so-called “spreads”, as well as a significant part of what goes under the name “butter”, will disappear from the shelves. Most of these products are made using palm oil, and it will be gone next month. At the same time, “import substitution” will not appear either – all the raw materials that are necessary for this are exported from Russia.

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo “indefinitely” introduced a complete ban on the export of palm oil. With a very prosaic goal – “to ensure an adequate and affordable supply of edible vegetable oil in the country.” Rational decision.

“I will continue to monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy so that the supply of oil to the domestic market is stable and the price is affordable,” said Joko Widodo. Commendable care for citizens, we would like this …

Indonesia is the world’s largest producer and exporter of palm oil. And Russia is one of its largest importers; in 2021, about 1.1 million tons of this product were imported, which is 7.2% more than a year earlier. However, the point is not in the quantity, but in the quality of this very oil. What Russian “businessmen” buy for use in the food industry is forbidden to be added to food all over the world. Since this raw material contains glycidyl ethers – strong carcinogens.

“Glycidol is a carcinogen. Naturally, its main target is the digestive tract. The most unpleasant thing is that products with glycidol are supplied to schools and kindergartens. Huge funds are spent on the fight against oncology, both budgetary and personal, but for now I see only an increase in deaths, ”says the pathologist Dmitry Grigoriev.

The statistics on oncology in Russia is simply monstrous, there is no other way to say it. Including palm oil. Yes, it is also used in other countries (far from all!), but pure, without these same glycidols. However, it is more expensive, but in Russia you can use whatever you like. There are no prohibitions, GOSTs and other requirements. And if anything, you can buy any piece of paper, as well as an official. Everything is allowed! What hucksters use is that they bring the cheapest poison here.

De jure, glycidol is included in the list of carcinogenic factors at work – SanPiN “Carcinogenic factors and basic requirements for the prevention of carcinogenic hazards” is in force. It is in the public domain for those who wish to see it. And to find there this very ingredient of “technical” palm oil, with which we are being poisoned.

If it says “milk fat replacer” on a pack of milk, it’s palm oil. Similarly, if it is a different dairy product, including “butter”. There is a lot of palm stuff there. In cheeses, especially processed ones, it is also enough, just like in various margarines and “spreads” (spread is a vegetable analogue of butter, which has a plastic consistency). They are also used by culinary specialists, the same cream on cakes is not butter, but “spread”. Carcinogenic!

Therefore, Russia, in theory, should only benefit from the lack of palm oil. It seems like there would be no happiness, but misfortune helped.

But not everything is so simple. Here it is worth remembering the words Pavel Grudinin that if Soviet GOSTs are introduced now, then the shelves will be empty. Fact. And the majority of the country’s citizens simply won’t have enough money for natural products, alas, they won’t leave surrogates yet. That is, margarines and “spreads” are needed, as well as other substitutes for animal fats. They exist, they have been invented for a very long time.

Any liquid vegetable oil can be converted into a solid form, this process is called hydrogenation. It is most actively used all over the world. Most of the imported “spreads” are made on the basis of this product. There are no glycidols here in principle, that is, it turns out to be a completely harmless product. In the USSR it was actively produced, GOST 19708–74 no one canceled the hydrogenation production, the technical documentation for the organization of these productions is also available, and in the public domain.

It would seem that everything is fine with us. There is a lot of sunflower oil produced in Russia – about six million tons with a consumption of two million tons. Establish appropriate production – and here it is, “import substitution”.

Don’t fix it. There is an organization in Russia called the Oil and Fat Union. It includes those who import carcinogenic palm oil into our country and earn huge money on it. They also export domestic natural products, that is, vegetable oil, abroad. And, unlike Indonesia, they are not prohibited from doing so. Also super profits.

Despite the rise in prices for sunflower oil in Russia, speculators have recently broken through a huge quota for its export, and everything is clearly not limited to these figures. For a certain bribe, “customs gives the go-ahead” for anything. And the hucksters will take the last liter of oil out of the country, just to get dollars and euros for them.

World prices for vegetable oil continue to rise, and the demarche of the President of Indonesia gave this process a new impetus. In UK stores, they began to sell only two bottles per hand, and it doesn’t matter which one: sunflower, olive, rapeseed, sesame, soy etc. Prices soared by another quarter and continue to rise.

Accordingly, the Oil and Fat Union is going to “cut the loot”, and in full. The probability of leaving Russian people without fat does not bother speculators. In general, nothing bothers them. And they are not going to invest in the organization of hydrogenation production. Buy and sell, nothing more. Classic speculators.

“Russia is extremely dependent on the supply of palm oil. The problem is the poverty of the population, which cannot afford normal food, and therefore is forced to buy poisonous surrogates, the basis of which is just palm oil. This is a real problem, because in the event of a shortage of palm oil, we will not eat healthier food. We will eat the same poison, but much more expensive. “Normal” food will rise in price even more, ”says a publicist and analyst Anatoly Nesmiyan.

In theory, in this situation, all exports of vegetable oil from Russia should be immediately blocked. And to purchase equipment for hydrogenation production. With public money, or organize such a fashionable “honest-public partnership.” With zero taxes for five to ten years and other benefits. After all, both the food security of the country and the health of the nation are at stake. Moreover, buying these plants is not a problem, there is enough money, and a smaller part of the world has announced sanctions to us. But nothing is heard about such projects.

In general, nothing is heard, including any reaction of Russian officials to the situation with palm oil. Everything is kind of good. Speculators continue to export vegetable oil from our country, and prices for it in stores are growing. Even a shortage is not ruled out – in the pursuit of profit, they can take out everything in general.

There is no need to talk about any analytics at the state level, the authorities rely on the figures of traders. And they will lie – they will take it cheap. Looks like a lot of sunflower oil. But whether this is true or not is unknown. It is not even a fact that Russia now needs to export food at all as such. It may turn out that it is not enough.

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