What’s palm oil and why is it bad?
The single greatest threat facing orangutans today is the rapidly expanding palm oil trade. Rainforests are being cleared at the rate of 300 football fields per hour to make way for oil palm plantations.
Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree, originating from West Africa.
The palm fruit yields two different oils:
Palm oil extracted from the pulp of the fruit and Palm kernel oil from the seed. Palm oil is edible and primarily used in food products: cooking oil, margarine, milk fat replacer and cocoa butter substitute. Whereas palm kernel oil is used in the manufacture of cosmetics, soap and detergent, shampoo, conditioner ect
Although the oil palm originates from West Africa, the warm, tropical climate in Malaysia and Indonesia are well suited to its agricultural production and these South-East Asian nations are now the world’s leading producers, accounting for 86% of global palm oil production. Other palm oil producing countries are Nigeria, Thailand, Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, India and Brazil.
Thousands of kilometres of pristine rainforest is slashed and burned in order to make way for oil palm plantations. Many orangutans and other animals are killed in the process, for the production of palm oil used in many of our everyday foods and products. This large-scale deforestation is pushing orangutans to extinction, along with many other native species of Borneo and Sumatra.
Now, there are only 55,000 orangutans left in the wild and at this rate, they will be extinct in as little as 11 years.
Not only is this industry endangering orangutans and ruining their habitats, but also the Sumatran tigers, Proboscis Monkey, Pygmy Elephant, Asian Rhinoceros, Sunbear, Gibbon, Bay Cat, Clouded Leopard, Spectral Tarsier, Dhole, Lar Gibbon, Anoa and many more.
many adult orangutans are killed by farmers in Indonesia and Borneo to prevent them eating crops as their natural food disappears leaving helpless orphans to die in the wild.
Rainforests cover 60 per cent of Indonesia, but orangutans - which means man of the forest - have seen their habitat cut down at an alarming rate, often to fuel the need for space to grow palm oil crops.
Indonesia is one of the world’s leading emitters of carbon dioxide, blamed for global warming. Tropical forests play a key role in soaking up carbon dioxide and regulating the climate.
Supply and demand pressures are driving the production of palm oil up to an all time high.
Palm oil is an extremely popular vegetable oil amongst manufacturers. It is used in over 60% of products, including: baked goods, confectionery, cosmetics, body products and cleaning agents. But in many countries, there is no law on the mandatory labelling of palm oil. Consequently, companies will usually hide palm oil under the name of ’vegetable oil’, or over 170 other names!
now even within the “against palm oil” organizations, they promote the use of “sustainable palm oil” but the truth is that the RSPO is untrustworthy and unreliable
it’s just a green wash to coddle consumers into thinking they aren’t contributing to environmental destruction.
Manufacturers may claim to be using sustainable palm oil because they are members of, or supplied by members of, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). However, this in itself is no guarantee as members only need commit to “working towards” producing a sustainable product. Advice from the groups rescuing Orangutans in the field say some who claim to be producing sustainable palm oil are not. Because of this we advocate boycotting all products which have palm oil or it’s derivatives in and until we are 100% sure that the producers who are members of the RSPO are kosher we will advocate boycott products using palm oil full stop.
Many indigenous people have their land stolen, for these people this is just like the orangutans.. their land is their lives. plantations destroy the rainforest land that the local people depend on, therefore giving them no choice but to become employed as plantation workers, operating under extremely dangerous conditions and barely earn enough money to live. For those communities that are still dependant on the rainforest, evicting them from their land is taking them away from the life source that they have lived off of for the past 50,000 years. Destroying the forest is destroying the livelihood and culture of these unique people.
30 NAMES PALM OIL CAN BE LABELLED UNDER
Foods, Body Products, Cosmetics & Cleaning Agents:
-Sodium Laureth Sulfate (in almost everything that foams) ^
-Sodium Lauryl Sulfate ^
-Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS) ^
-Palm Oil Kernel #
-Palm Fruit Oil #
-Glyceryl Stearate #
-Stearic Acid #
-Elaeis Guineensis #
-Palmitic Acid #
-Palm Stearine #
-Palmitoyl oxostearamide #
-Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3 #
-Steareth -2 *
-Steareth -20 *
-Sodium Kernelate #
-Sodium Palm Kernelate #
-Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate *
-Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate ^
-Hyrated Palm Glycerides #
-Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye ^
-Cetyl Palmitate #
-Octyl Palmitate #
-Cetyl Alcohol ^
-Palmityl Alchohol #
# These ingredients are definitely palm oil or derived from palm oil.
* These ingredients are often derived from palm oil, but could be derived from other vegetable oils.
^ These ingredients are either derived from palm oil or coconut oil.
If a product’s saturated fat content is over 40% of it’s total fat content, it will almost always have palm oil in it.
The increasing demand for palm oil is causing the rapid clearing of tropical rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) predicts that by 2022, the palm oil industry could wipe out 98% of Indonesia’s remaining forests.
Loss of habitat for the orangutans and other animals is not the only problem. Palm oil plantations are also linked to issues of decreasing biodiversity due to monoculture planting, soil degradation, poor air quality and carbon emissions from burning forests and peatlands and a disregard for local people and their land rights.
If you need more info go here or here
If you don’t believe me about “sustainable palm oil” please watch this video
Please email companies and ask them to change to a different oil, and until then, you will effectively BOYCOTT them and all their products.
raise awareness and tell others about the damage of palm oil and how they can help
here is a list i always refer to when i find a suspicious ingredient (i don’t know all the palm oil names off by heart yet)
and I’ve even found that some companies WILL LIE when directly asked if they use palm oil because their ingredients don’t actually say “palm oil”
if you live in Australia, Ethikool is a good company that has all vegan and palm oil free products and i will be making a vegan palm oil free list in the future to help others out in finding palm oil free products!
also another thing you can choose to get is the app or book “the chemical maze”
It can help identify chemicals and what their potential sources are.
Sunday Oct 10 @ 12:31pm
tagged as: rebloggable by request. palm oil.
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