Petroleum products are widespread. We use them daily and many we do not even realize. The diversity of petroleum products is what has made our society "disposable". It has also made it so that you can go to the store and buy that cut of meat wrapped in plastic on the cute foam tray, the tin can of vegetables and have ointments to put on wounds. It depends on the type and the way it is purified that makes it food safe or not. You should ALWAYS use products that are labeled as being safe for consumption, food grade, food safe or pharmaceutical grade before using it in or near your food.
Mineral oil is a petroleum product. You must use the one that is labeled USP. Look at the label. It will be sold in the pharmacy section and it is labeled for use as a laxative. It works as a laxative by making your intestines slippery in order to help pass your Bowel movement. It is odorless, tasteless and totally safe. Obviously you would not want to drink the entire bottle but used in accordance with the directions it is safe. Do not use mineral oil products like baby oil. It has scents and has not been properly purified to make it safe for consumption.
Anything with a vaseline base is a petroleum product like Chapstick, triple antibiotic ointment (which I hope no first aid kit is without), vaseline (this can be used to saturate guaze and then used to close a sucking chest wound, in case of no medical help).
Anything with a parrifin base is a petroleum product like parrifin wax used to seal jelly jars, suppositories both prescription and over the counter, chewing wax, candles, etc.
You can also add to the list: Teflon in cookware, freezer bags, wax paper, plastic wrap, egg cartons and the list goes on and on. On the list above I made red anything that we would ingest, would be around our food or be in close contact with open wounds or mucous membranes on our bodies. That list is a very short one, it is less than 5% of items that are made from petroleum products.
A partial list of products made from Petroleum (144 of 6000 items)
One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make things like:
Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of three-and-a-half gallons of oil and more than
Sports Car Bodies
Car Battery Cases
Ice Cube Trays
Soft Contact lenses
250 cubic feet of natural gas per day each! But, as shown here petroleum is not just used for fuel.
Quoted from http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20Petroleum.htm
Once again it depends upon the purifying process as to whether it is food safe or not. Always use plastics and other petroleum products that are deemed food safe or Pharmaceutical grade.
If we were to totally get away from petroleum based products. We would have to grow our own food and never buy anything from the store that is not in glass. Even our tin cans are coated on the inside with a plastic film. Our beans would be bought in bulk out of a wooden barrel and fast food would be a thing of the past. We would be hurtled back to an agrarian society rather than an industrialized society.
Like it or not Petroleum products are here to stay as long as the oil holds out. We live with them every single day. To be without them would be a TEOTWAKI situation in our present world. Educate yourself so that you use them properly and be as safe as possible.