France Is in a Fight Over Whether Nutella Is Ruining the World

By Mike Pomranz |

Nutella lovers probably think hazelnut chocolate spread is the greatest thing in the world. But a French official has a very different opinion. She claims the product is, quite literally, destroying the world, and she wants people in France to stop eating it.

At the heart of the argument is palm oil, an ingredient facing increasing scrutiny. Critics claim producing the oil has negative environmental impacts, including deforestation. France’s ecology minister, Ségolène Royal, agrees, and she made her opinion abundantly clear during an interview on Monday. “We have to replant a lot of trees because there is massive deforestation that also leads to global warming,” she was quoted as saying. “We should stop eating Nutella, for example, because it’s made with palm oil.”

That seemingly subtle shoutout really ticked off the people at Ferrero, the makers of Nutella. In what seems like an equally indirect move, despite not mentioning Royal by name, the next day Ferrero issued a statement saying the company understood the environmental impact of its product and was working to source palm oil responsibly.

As Grub Street points out, the stakes for Nutella are extremely high, being that palm oil makes up about 20 percent of its cult-worthy spread. And though the ecology minister is certainly a big name, this definitely isn’t the first time Ferrero has been called out over palm oil before.

It’s gotta be tough making people choose between Nutella and the Earth. Honestly, the way people react to Nutella, I’m not entirely sure which one they would choose.  

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