This controversial vegetable oil is present in almost EVERYTHING we consume. From shampoos to cookies. But what’s the problem with it?
Palm oil is the most productive vegetable oil, much more than sunflower. It also has high concentration of saturated fatty acids, which makes it stable to oxidation (you can fry things with it). That’s why it is a cheap and versatile oil, and industry loves it. Since 1990, global consumption of palm oil has quintupled. It is found in more than half of all supermarket products, including processed food, self-care products, cleaning products and even biofuel. But where do we get so much palm oil from?
Palm oil is cultivated in many tropical countries, mainly in Indonesia, Malaysia and some African countries. Palm oil business alleviates rural poverty, creating millions of jobs. However, as usual, humans want to get maximum profits without caring for the workers or the environment.
Palm oil industry has destroyed forests in Indonesia and Malaysia illegally on an epic scale. An area of forest of one football pitch is lost every 25 SECONDS in Indonesia.
Forests are home to numerous species, the most iconic is the orangutan, but also elephants and tigers are at risk. In fact, 193 endangered species are threatened by palm oil production globally. Baby orangutans that lose their mothers can be sold as pets if they are not rescued, and, if they are lucky, they end up in rescue centres but with a profound trauma. @international_animal_rescue
In addition to this, deforestation is one of the main causes of #climatechange . Big scale deforestation due to palm oil industry has positioned Indonesia as the third greatest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, only after USA and China. Deforestation in these areas also increases the risk of fires, like the one from 2015. On top of this, there has been accusations of human rights abuses and child labor in palm oil plantations.
The problem is not palm oil, the problem is HUMAN GREED. We can solve this by making big brands buy palm oil from responsible growers that respect rainforests.
Go to @greenpeace and sign!
#palmoil #orangutan #forests #deforestation #greenhousegases