Palm oil can be good for you, but you don’t want giant globs of it washing up on the beach, and that’s exactly what is happening along UK shores even as we speak. They’re so big they’ve even earned the nickname “fatbergs.”
Palm oil may be good for human health, rich in vitamins E and K, CoQ10, squalene, phytosterols, flavonoids, phenolic acid, and glycolipids, and known for improving blood circulation, regulating cholesterol levels, reducing free radical damage and inflammation, and lowering blood pressure – but it’s disastrous for the environment. 
Large chunks of congealed palm oil are popping up on English beaches, and signs have been erected warning of a risk to dogs and children. The fat itself is technically non-toxic, but the globs smell rotten due to an abundance of bacteria, and can make pets sick if eaten.
Cornwall Council posted the following warning in January:
“Laboratory testing has shown that this substance is a non-toxic, degraded edible oil or fat. However, there have been reports of dogs becoming seriously ill after ingesting the substance. Some dogs that have consumed small quantities of palm oil have suffered from vomiting and diarrhorea, which has led to severe dehydration. Some dogs that have eaten larger amounts of the substance have suffered a range of effects including kidney damage, liver failure and blockages of the gut. In some instances this has resulted in the dog needing to be put down.” 
According to the BBC, veterinarians in Cornwall see at least 1 dog a day that has been poisoned by the waxy substance. Penmellyn Vets surgery in Newquay, Cornwall, issued a warning earlier this year after staff was forced to provide 5 dogs with life-saving treatment. The pooches reportedly collapsed in agony after eating the fatty blobs scattered on beaches at Constantine Bay and Treyarnon. 
In 2014, palm oil boulders washed ashore, sickening dozens of dogs. Several of them perished.
The council warned:
“So, if you’re heading to the beach please take care—while the substance has been described as non-toxic, given the reports about dogs becoming ill, we’d suggest keeping children and pets away from the deposits. And if you come into contact with the substance, wash it off with soap or shower gel and wash your clothes.”
The council pointed out that palm oil can enter the marine environment when it is legally discarded by ships at sea, where ocean waste further contaminates it.
The yellow-white fatbergs made their way to the UK across thousands of miles following storms in Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad.
And when I say “boulders” and “fatbergs,” that’s no exaggeration. See for yourself.
 Daily Mail
Featured image sourced and modified: Twitter / Iam Palmer
Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.