Tips and Tricks to Avoid Palm Oil

Palm Oil is a topic that is becoming more and more common. People want to know what it is, why they are hearing about it and why it’s such an urgent and important issue. How can oil that comes from a fruit be wiping out Sumatran Tigers and Orangutans?I’ve discussed, in detail, the effects of palm oil production and consumption in a previous article, but in summary: the production of Palm oil is leading to mass clearing of important South-East Asian rainforests (homes and habitats) and astronomical carbon emissions, all for a product that is unhealthy for humans anyway (it’s extremely high in saturated fat). I think it is safe to say that those are three damn ugly side-effects for a product that is a) easily produced sustainably and b) easily replaced if not.
Baby Orang

Image by Emily Ehlers

Palm Oil – What the hell is it and why is it bad?

Image by Emily Ehlers

To me it seems that palm oil is my generations CFC (chlorofluorocarbon). Think about it, the eighties was the decade of big hair and what were people using to keep it looking so deliciously bouffant? They were using hair spray – unceremoniously – to the point that they even named a Broadway musical in its honour. We now know that all aerosols (as well as refrigerators) were using chemical compounds called CFC’s. Retrospect is a spiteful thing because we also know just how damaging these chemicals were to the environment. However then, due to lack of information (or perhaps more a case of being misled by those that had the information?) people were going about their everyday lives not realising that they were actively contributing to irreparable environmental damage. Then in 1985 the bubble burst and the announcement came(1); there was a hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic and CFC’s alone had caused it. Fast forward to 2011 and we are in the same predicament, but there is a new player at our table… Continue reading