Palm Oil. It sounds innocuous enough. If you haven't heard of it before, you have almost certainly come into contact with it, probably even in the last 24 hours.
It is a yellow 'butter like' oil that is the most widely used vegetable oil worldwide, even surpassing sunflower oil and soya in terms of usage. The massive swell in demand for this oil has fuelled an inflation of deforestation and forest destruction throughout Malaysia and Indonesia. Once added together, these two countries production of palm oil accounts for around 85% of the global production. Palm oil is pervasive and prevalent in the foods that we consume. If you fill a trolley with packaged foods, it is probable that over half of those products will contain palm oil.
-THE CURRENT RATE OF DEFORESTATION COULD SEE THE COMPLETE DESTRUCTION OF THE RAINFOREST
-PALM OIL IS HIGH IN SATURATED FATS
THE INDUSTRY HAS CONFLICTED WITH INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
-THE GLOBAL DEMAND FOR PALM OIL COULD SEE ORANGUTANS EXTINCT WITHIN THE NEXT DECADE
-CLEARING FORESTS FOR PALM PLANTATIONS IS DETRIMENTAL TO OUR CLIMATE AND CO2 EMISSIONS
-ANIMALS ARE LEFT EXPOSED, LEAVING THEM VULNERABLE TO POACHERS AND PALM WORKERS
You may be shrinking into your chair, feeling the responsibility of the mass destruction taking place. You may be regretting buying that unsustainable lipstick, shampoo and conditioner (which all contain palm oil), or you may be feeling remorse at devouring that Friday night pizza complete with an ice cream desert (which both contain palm oil), yet there is still a glimmer of hope.
As a citizen, you possess sufficient power to voice your concerns about deforestation for palm oil development and help to pressure companies, manufacturers and governments to take serious action.
Companies such as Kraft, Starbucks and Pepsico STILL use palm oil, despite the knowledge that it is killing thousands of animals and affecting humans, our environment, ecosystem and even resulting in global warming. YOU can take action now by calling on them to reduce their use of palm oil. It is this mass production that is resulting in such devastation. Without the demand, there will be no need to destroy the lush and ecologically-rich rain forests.
Learn more here.