Why Is Palm Oil Killing our planet?

Why Is Palm Oil Killing our planet?

This past week we had a lovely cute baby orangutan featured on our Instagram and we received an overwhelming response to this post so we did some digging to give you more information and when we dug more it turned out the matter is much more serious than even we originally understood.

Not only are there many food and cosmetic brands that are using palm oil its found in everything from shampoo to donuts, palm oil is now the most common vegetable oil in the world—and also one of the world's leading deforestation drivers.!

Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the palm tree, which thrives in humid climates.

The majority of palm oil production occurs in just two countries, Malaysia and Indonesia, where huge forests are being cleared to make way for palm oil plantations...but when this habitat is cleared it does TWO horrible things :

  1. The clearance of the carbon rich land releases carbon into the atmosphere which further drives global warming and
  2. It shrinks the habitats for a multitude of endangered species.(Source www.ucsusa.org)

To explain in a bit more detail to set up this palm oil plantation they need to BURN the peatlands which are carbon rich. What this means is that when they are BURNED  both carbon and methane are released into the atmosphere and release global warming emissions for decades!!  Yes you heard right DECADES! As if that wasn't bad enough, the burning of peatlands releases a toxic haze into the atmosphere, resulting in severe health impacts and significant economic losses. Each year, more than 100,000 deaths in Southeast Asia can be attributed to particulate matter exposure from landscape fires, many of which are peat fires.

Beyond its global warming and human health impacts, palm oil production also takes a toll on biodiversity and human rights. Only about 15 percent of native animal species can survive the transition from primary forest to plantation. Among the species vulnerable to palm oil expansion are orangutans, tigers, rhinoceros, and elephants.  So it’s just not the baby orangutans there are other species ALL impacted by this crazy greed.


So what did we as a Western Society do … We set up a Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil Production (RSPO) If the company you want to order products from is a member then great there are some checks in place to ensure that they don’t OVERBUY palm Oil and the sources are supposed to be sustainable. 'The Accreditation Body will certify sustainable palm oil production, as stated in the RSPO Certification Systems. Growers will be assessed for certification once every 5 years, and if certified, will be annually assessed for continued compliance’- Source Rspco.org

What can we do to help ensure this deforestation stops?

Being on the RSPO is not a guarantee card that the deforestation will not continue the only way forward is if we as a community stand up and ask Vegan brands to stop using Palm oil in their products brands such as Oreo, Jordan Cereal etc lets ask them to just stop using it


If you have other ideas write to us on ecoblogs@labante.co.uk