Sitting in a country with well over 7000 islands, home to some of the best beaches in the world, most of which lined with the nature shade of coconut trees. Walk past the food stalls in the malls, or street food vendors selling barbeque, coconuts are also found. In this temperate, humid country, there is not much better than some ice-cold coconut water to quench your thirst.
Thing is, coconuts are so much more than the water within! Many enjoy the flesh of the inner coconut seed, while others use the sturdy coconut husks and fibers in floor mats, brooms, and even mattresses!
These days, there is yet another trend regarding coconuts – the coconut oil. It seemingly has many benefits; so let’s talk about some of them!
Benefits of the oil
Coconut oil is phenomenal on the skin, especially if it is dry. Unlike mineral oils, coconut oil has no adverse side effects! It is well known for its anti-oxidant properties, as well as its treatment of several skin conditions, including eczema and dermatitis. Read up the ingredients of natural skin conditioners, and you will likely find coconut oil in there somewhere.
It is also phenomenal on dry and frizzy hair, giving it a shiny, healthy look. It even helps with the regrowth and care of previously damaged hair! Plus, if you regularly rub it on your scalp, it will be free of dandruff and helps with controlling lice (and their eggs).
Just like avocados, coconut oil may be high in fats and immensely dense, but its composition of short and medium-chain fatty acids. These are classed as “healthy fats”, the key to a balanced diet, and even able to aid with weight loss.
Its other uses include helping with immunity, heart diseases, infections, and much more. In fact, you can even use it as an alternative to other vegetable oils for cooking! The more you read up and research the qualities of coconut oil, there does not seem to be many reasons to keep it out of your daily life!
Trading coconut oil
There are many traders in and around the country moving virgin coconut oil around and out of the country.
Most coconuts in the Philippines are produced for export and has earned the Philippines the title of the world’s largest producer of coconuts.
Back before the 1970s, the demand for coconut oil exploded around the world, and the then-government started incentivizing building of more coconut oil mills. In the six years following, the number of mills more than doubled, and yet it stagnated soon after.
Coconut mills were merged with other coconut factories and soon after, the U.S. passed a law that required foods containing tropical oils, including coconut oil, to state its saturated fat content. That negatively affected trade of coconut oil (does not paint a complete picture of this dense oil), and it has been low ever since.
Nonetheless, the world has looked to the largest coconut exporter to lead the way. Unfortunately, the effect of El Niño has raw materials hard to come by this year, and export dropped by 32% at the beginning of this year. Combine that with the dropping demand for this healthy oil, and the future of coconut oil export looks increasingly grim, especially with the astronomic rise and low price of palm oil.
What does this mean for the Philippines?
Coconut has been such a big export product for this country and with its novelty product-losing traction, there is some fear that the Filipino economy could be hit hard. La Niña is looking to bring back the raw materials, but if the demand stays low, the product will not hit the heights it really should.
One way you help is by doing the adequate research and purchasing Filipino coconut oil! Europe and Asia are large importers of coconut oil, and they should be well stocked on the shelves.
Anybody who has been to these shores will swear by the quality of coconuts from the Philippines and the oil matches it stride for stride.
In the end, coconut oil is not only good for your body but also a great contributor to the Filipino economy. For the people here, coconuts are part and parcel of the daily life and it would be a shame if the market slowly died out for these versatile, healthy seeds.
Want clear skin, smooth hair, and a healthy alternative to regular cooking oils? Patronize Filipino coconut oil and you won’t be disappointed!