Dear White People, Lay Off Our Coconut Oil

Social Commentary

Dear White People, Lay Off Our Coconut Oil

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


very week, there’s a new study out about a freshly discovered superfood – followed by another one on how that same superfood is actually giving you 17 different types of cancer. Is chocolate guaranteed to keep your heart healthy, or is it just a delicious bar of diabetes? Should you drink that glass of milk and improve your bone density, even if it means risking leaky gut syndrome (whatever the hell that is)? Will chugging red wine straight from the bottle boost your flavonoids, or make you puke?

Truly, these are questions for the ages. One thing we could always count on, however, was our humble nariyal ka tel. Even as a kid, I knew that the secret to gorgeous hair was my dad’s heavy-handed Parachute champi – the one that left my brain feeling like it had pooled at the base of my skull – and that the tastiest fish was fried in coconut oil. But later, that ubiquitous bottle of crystal-clear grease did more for our country’s global standing than certain politicians, and became a certified, white-people-approved superfood. So naturally, it came as a rude shock when Harvard epidemiologist Karin Michels recently denigrated coconut oil as “pure poison”.