Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Fair Trade and Organic Coconut Oil

By Allison Burch, March 28, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Allison Burch

Coconut Oil

More and more coconut products are coming onto the market recently. There’s the hydrating coconut water and the refreshing non-dairy coconut milk. Heck, there’s even coconut milk ice cream. But have you ever tried coconut oil? Don’t feel left out, not a lot of people here in the US have. The coconut has been an important food source for people living in the tropical areas of Asia, Africa, the Pacific and South America. In fact, the coconuts are mentioned in Indian documents dating BCE and coconut oil remains an essential cooking oil in India today. Pressed from the fruit of the coconut palm tree, coconut oil is ideal for light fare and subtly flavored dishes. It gives a perfect hint of coconut flavor to ethnic dishes like Chicken and Vegetable Curry Soup. It’s divine in baked goods, desserts, confections and smoothies—try Raw Banana Ice Cream. Use it to sauté veggies or drizzle over popcorn, for a delicious, can’t-quite-place-it flavor.

Chocolate Buckeye Candies with Puffed KamutIn addition to eating coconut oil, you can also warm it up and use it as a massage oil, or rub it into your skin and hair for a radiant shine. So, do you want to give it a try now? Well, let me tell you about a great coconut oil that’s currently available only in our stores. Dr. Bronner’s Magic “All-One!” Fair Trade & Organic Fresh-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil—yes, quite a mouthful to say, but totally worth it! Available in Whole Kernel and White Kernel varieties, both are unrefined so they retain their original nutrient content, flavor and color. What we really appreciate about Dr. Bronner’s is their profound commitment to sourcing their main ingredients from Fair Trade and organic sources. Their goals are that everyone in their supply chains receive fair compensation; that farming and production practices have minimal environmental impact and to contribute to local development projects in the communities where they source ingredients. When they couldn’t find a suitable supply of Fair Trade organic coconut oil for their products, Dr. Bonner’s decided to make their own and the Serendipol project was born. Serendipol is a subsidiary of Dr. Bonner’s located in Sri Lanka and is now the world's foremost source of certified organic and Fair Trade virgin coconut oil, supplying cosmetics grade coconut oil for Dr. Bonner’s well-know soaps, as well as premium-quality food-grade coconut oil. In fact, they even supply their Fair Trade and organic coconut oil to other like-minded companies. Dr. Bronner’s web site offers more information on their efforts, including this beautiful video about Serendipol that explains their efforts and captures the vibrancy of Sri Lanka. Take a look and the next time you’re in the store, pick up a jar of coconut oil and give it a try.

Have you had coconut oil? Tell us your favorite uses.

Category: Food & Recipes




Evan says ...
I love coconut oil. I'm glad it's getting more main stream. It's great for baking brownies and gives them a fudgier texture. It's also good with just cocoa powder and agave as a homemade chocolate.
03/28/2011 3:12:46 PM CDT
heather says ...
I love coconut oil, I have 2 jars at home, one for eating and one for skin & hair. My skin glows by using it as a moisturizer and eye makeup remover. I love love love coconut oil!!! extra virgin organic & raw is a must!
03/28/2011 3:38:38 PM CDT
Maggie Bell says ...
I have read & heard some conflicting information about coconut oil & milk, I have high cholesterol and would like to try the coconut oil and or milk but am told it is high in fat then other opinions are that it's a different type of fat. that is very beneficial for people with high cholesterol could you explain the difference. thank you
03/28/2011 6:32:42 PM CDT
Cetta says ...
03/28/2011 7:39:30 PM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Maggie: Thank you for your question. We suggest speaking with your health care provider for finding the option that's best for you.
03/28/2011 9:39:41 PM CDT
Barbara N. says ...
I saw this product today at Whole Foods as I was coincidentally looking for virgin coconut oil. What is the difference between White Kernel and Whole Kernel?
03/28/2011 10:05:39 PM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Barbara: White kernel oil comes from the white part of a coconut and whole kernel oil includes the oil from the brown exterior.
03/28/2011 10:06:19 PM CDT
Brittany says ...
I like to use it as a lotion for my very pregnant belly, it takes away the itchiness, and soothes it. In the phillipines where I come from it's a big thing to use coconut oil while pregnant! I also use it in my own soaps and lip balm. The possibilities are endless.
03/29/2011 7:53:52 AM CDT
James | Natural Mana says ...
I use coconut oil regularly. Its great for so many things! But mostly, I like cooking my eggs with it :)
03/30/2011 7:15:18 PM CDT
sandra says ...
What a great project from Dr. Bronner's. Coconut oil has so many amazing benefits, here are just a few: can boost metabolism, helps reduce inflammation, helps heal wounds and reduce acne, kills certain bacteria, viruses, funguses, yeast and other disease causing germs. It can actually prevent heart disease-does not raise cholesterol levels. I eat it right off the spoon!
03/30/2011 7:55:36 PM CDT
Lyndsey says ...
I have been using coconut oil for some time now, I love it. The coconut ice cream is awesome, you'd never think it was dairy free. I use the solid oil as a replacement for butter in baking recipes.
03/31/2011 5:23:51 AM CDT
Nita says ...
I searched high and low for coconut oil and couldn't find any. It didn't dawn on me to walk a few blocks to whole foods!! I found my oil! I am so happy, the stuff is magic. I use it for hair, body and a take a teaspoon at night for internal health. Thanks!
03/31/2011 8:37:31 AM CDT
dale taylor says ...
i use it for frying eggs, fish, grease the bottom of my baking dish, etc.
03/31/2011 11:33:54 AM CDT
Ruth Pinto says ...
How about the scare re: the unsaturated fat content?
04/02/2011 2:41:02 AM CDT
Mary says ...
I too love the virgin coconut oil! I use it for body moisturizer after my shower and for a night time facial. I love to smear it on my face right before bed. In the morning my eyes are not puffy and my skin looks great! I used it in fruit smoothies and cooking chicken strips! Yikes, how versatile is that!
04/05/2011 4:38:01 PM CDT
Richard Haber says ...
I've used Dr. Bronner's Hemp Eucalyptus soap for a while now and am pleased that his company is trying to make an effort to support fair trade and organic agriculture. Because of my satisfaction with his soap products, I will try his Organic Coconut oil and am sure that I will find many uses for it. Maybe even apply it to my well worn face! Thanks for pointing this out.
04/12/2011 9:28:50 AM CDT
Ava says ...
I love coconut oil! So happy to see it getting the recognition it deserves. In Jamaica, where I'm from, we use a lot of coconut oil. We manufacture it and the coconut industry is huge there. Coconut water is very popular too. Coconut oil enits a wonderful aroma when it is used for sauteeing, not to mention the flavor in foods! Yummy
04/12/2011 9:29:32 AM CDT
ava says ...
Also, coconut oil is good for chapped feet and rough elbows. Smooth on liberally at nights!
04/12/2011 9:34:55 AM CDT
Leanne says ...
Coconut oil is the only thing I use on my face-it keeps me clear of acne and moisturizes my skin! It is wonderful for small cuts and abrasions, not only for people, but pets too! When I put it on my dogs' hotspots, they are gone very soon after.
04/12/2011 9:37:52 AM CDT
Kevin says ...
I've used coconut oil on my dry skin regularly for about 3 months now. What a difference! I take it with me into the shower so it softens up and then apply after toweling off. It's also eliminated my dry cracked heels.
04/12/2011 10:02:02 AM CDT
Cameo says ...
Michael, thanks for answering Barbara's question regarding the difference in what the whole vs. white coconut oils are made of. What is the difference when you use them? I would assume that for most applications, either could be used, but what are the pros/cons of each?
05/13/2011 10:06:44 AM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Cameo: Unfortunately I don't have the answer to that.
05/13/2011 1:40:37 PM CDT
Angela says ...
Is the Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil available at Canadian Whole Foods?
05/26/2011 6:27:39 PM CDT
bepkom says ...
@Angela: Our product selection varies between stores. Please check in with your local store directly. Thanks!
05/27/2011 3:25:06 PM CDT
sandra says ...
I was wondering what the difference was with the whole vs white kernel too. Did a google search and found this: Whole kernel oil, which is made from the kernel with its "parings" is more nutritious and has a slightly nuttier flavor whereas white kernel oil offers a choice to consumers who are familiar with this grade. Both grades are versatile and healthy along with being organic and fair trade. Got it from this site: http://homegrown.locallygrown.net/products/show/67574
06/09/2011 3:13:32 PM CDT