what is palm oil?
Palm oil is a vegetable fat, derived from palm kernals. It is the worlds most commonly produced oil, and has a low market value. This low value lends itself to use in many low cost processed foods. It is also a common component of biofuels.
Palms that produce oil, grow best in hot humid tropical climates. Those regions of naturally rich, diverse tropical rainforests. The production of Palm Oil has led to enormous amounts of deforestation in Africa, South America and especially South East Asia.
Palm Oil Plantations require the complete and total deforestation of tracts of rainforest, This causes huge losses of plant and animal diversity, and the tracts essentially become "green desserts" where biodiversity struggles to survive in palm monoculture.
Large species that would normally inhabit these ranges become displaced, potentially causing immediate death or conflict with neighbouring areas. Commonly impacted large species you might be familiar with are Tigers, Elephants and especially synosmus with Palm Oil, Orangutans.
It is also important to remember apart from the large charismatic species, we have lost an almost unimaginable diversity of plant and animal diversity- much that we have not even managed to log and record yet.
what you can do
Vote with your wallet, in favour of your health and our planets health.
When you don't buy products that contain Palm Oil, you simultaneously avoid a lot of
Avoiding palm oil in your diet, lends itself to eating whole, nutritious unprocessed foods.
There are regulations to ensure that some Palm Oil is Sustainably Produced. There is
a round table on Palm Oil production. Checking products that you DO buy are sustainably
produced is a fantastic step.
It gets tricky to avoid Palm Oil in cosmetics, where there is no current legislation for
it to be labelled. Your best option is to buy products that you trust. That openly label
We have more coming up on Palm Oil, and it's impact on our health and the environment.
Alternative names for Palm Oil:
Sodium Laureth Sulphate
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
Hydrated Palm glycerides
PKO: Palm Kernal Oil
PHPKO: Partially Hydrogenated Palm Oil