There’s always a drama regarding palm oil consumption and in this post we will uncover why.
Palm oil isn’t unhealthy for human consumption, but it’s production is deadly for the environment and for our planet. Biggest plantations of palms are situated in Malaysia and Indonesia.
The question is why isn’t good to use palm oil?
Huge number of rain forests are slashed and burned in order to provide space for palm plantations. That is harmful in many ways – firstly because of carbon-dioxide – we all know that trees are storages for carbon-dioxide and they are turning it into oxygen… So those huge areas that are producing oxygen are cut down at once and all the carbon that was trapped in the trees and in the ground is released to the atmosphere. Also, a lot of fertilizers and pesticides are used for palm oil plantations, which are polluting the ground and harming underground waters.
Second, it is harmful for the animals because rainforests are natural habitats for many species.
Most of the species are underaged species as Sumatran tiger, rhino, elephant, Sumatran orangutan, etc. Most of the animals can’t survive in other areas, especially because they’re forced to move to smaller areas where they can come in contact with humans and become easier pray for hunters. During the mass clearings of forests a lot of animals are burnt alive.
There are associations that are helping all injured animals in these rainforests, and trust me – the images of injured animals are shocking. (all links to the organizations will be at the end of this article).
Where can you find palm oil?
– Everywhere. Palm oil can literally be found everywhere – in food, cosmetics, makeup, cleaning supplies, etc. Restaurants are also using palm oil a lot because it is reusable. When I heard about palm oil issue, I went to my storage room and checked all the labels on the items and guess what..? More than 60% contained palm oil. So that is the answer why people are cutting huge areas of forests to make space for palm plantations. Basically, what I understood so far, everything that has creamy and consistent texture is most likely to contain palm oil.
Palm oil can be found under many different names, and these are the most common ones:
1. Elaeis guineensis
2. Etyl palmitate
4. Hydrogenated palm glycerides
5. Octyl palmitate
6. Palm fruit oil
7. Palm kernel
8. Palm kernel oil
9. Palm stearine
12. Palmitic acid
13. Palmitoyl oxostearamide
14. Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3
15. Palmityl alcohol
17. Sodium kernelate
18. Sodium laureth sulfate
19. Sodium lauryl lactylate/sulphate
20. Sodium lauryl sulfate
21. Sodium palm kernelate
23. Stearic acid
24. Vegetable fat
25. Vegetable oil
Also, on the labels of some products you can find certificates that indicate that they consist sustainable palm oil, or the producer is transferring from palm oil to another solution. These are the certificates:
So, what can we do?
individually, not much. But if people would gather together the result could be positive. Firstly, we can try to reduce products that contain palm oil at least. Boycott is always a good option because as long as there is a demand, there would be an offer and the other way arround – if people boycott a particular product, producers will have to find better solution.
You can also write to the producer of your favourite product, it’s free and it is the smallest effort you can give, who knows – if they get enough emails from their clients, they might change something.
References and useful links: