Why Are Supermarkets Pulling Nutella Down From Shelves?

There are few spreads in this world more universally adored than Nutella.

Sure, you have your nut butter fanatics; and many people go nuts for different fruity jams. But something about Nutella managed to capture the hearts of both children and adults alike. It's creamy, luscious, sweet and chocolatey, and marketers found a way to convince us it's a totally acceptable item to incorporate into our breakfasts.

So maybe that's why so many people are freaking out about the dreadful news -- that supermarkets in Italy have been removing Nutella from shelves because the chocolate spread contains processed palm oil, an ingredient that some suggest may increase the risk of developing cancer.

Business Insider reports that Coop, one of Italy's biggest supermarket chains, actually pulled about 200 different products from its shelves, as a precautionary measure to stop promoting products aimed at children, who might be at a greater risk for developing harmful diseases.

According to the Nutella website, "Palm oil is used in Nutella to give the product its creamy texture, as well as to heighten the flavor of its ingredients, thanks to its properties that enable it to have a neutral odor and taste after the refining process.

"Furthermore, it is the best ingredient for giving Nutella the right smoothness, guaranteeing its special spreadability and, above all, avoiding the hydrogenation process that would produce otherwise unhealthy trans fats."

Ferrero and other manufacturers who use palm oil are unlikely to find a safer oil to use because of cost -- if Ferrero switched over to rapeseed oil, for example, Business Insider estimates that it could cost the manufacturers up to $22 million more per year.

In order to minimize your risk, Business Insider reports that the Rainforest Foundation UK provides a guide that can be found here to palm oil-free products. The solution is simple: Try not to consume as many products that use processed palm oil, and make sure to eat as healthy, whole and balanced of a diet as you can.