Cooking oil for health?

Yesterday the NYT had an article about the rising costs of palm oil, and how it is affecting poor people in countries close to Malaysia. They make it seem like people are saving every last drop of oil, and that it is a huge source of caloric content. It also talks about how a Carrefour in Chongqing, China had a promotion on cooking oil. The resulting stampede to buy cooking oil left three people dead.
 
All I have to ask is, why? It seemed like a lot of people wanted oil to cook meats. Meat already has fat in it. Cooking vegetables also does not require oil if a steamer is used. As much as people are supposedly saving oil, it seems like much of the food I have eaten in relatively poor areas was loaded with oil. Alternative cooking methods would alleviate that need, but perhaps they like the flavour.
 
When I cook with a frying pan, I very rarely use oil. I don’t need to – I have a non stick pan. As long as I am very careful about when I add food ingredients into the pan, when I use the flame, how hot I allow the pan to get, and when I rotate/flip/stir the food, I find it is completely unnecessary to add oil. I have even cooked without oil in pans/woks without a non stick coating. Again, no problem. Of course, I don’t like the flavour of oil either, unless it happens to help increase the spiciness of the food I happen to be eating. Even on things like salad, rather than add Balsamic vinegrette dressing, I simply pour on Balsamic vinegar. It doesn’t leave an oil slick on my tongue.
 
I have a small bottle of cooking oil in my Korean kitchen that was leftover from the previous tennant. I have used it on occasion for things like making sure rice doesn’t stick to the rice cooker bowl. I eat most meals at home. I have only used 1/8 of that bottle.
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