Palm Oil: The Hidden Ingredient with Huge Impact (And 4 Reasons to Delete It from Your Diet)

Home » Environment » Palm Oil: The Hidden Ingredient with Huge Impact (And 4 Reasons to Delete It from Your Diet)

Palm oil originates in Western Africa, and is extracted from the palm fruit. In recent decades, production has flourished across tropical climates, predominantly in the developing world, with 85% being exported from Malaysia and Indonesia.

It makes up more than 40% of vegetable oil production world wide, and is found in nearly half of all household products, particularly packaged goods (mostly snack food, cereals, baked goods and sweets), toiletries, cosmetics and cleaning products. This can make it a challenge to avoid, but not impossible.

Here are 4 major reasons why the effort will be worth your time.

1- Animal Extinction

The animal most impacted by palm oil production is the Orangutan. They are murdered in massive quantities, with 50,000 reported to have died as a side effect of the deforestation required for palm oil plantations. At the current rate, they are expected to become extinct within a decade, so avoiding this product literally helps to save their lives. However, they are not suffering alone. The Sumatran Tiger, and 300,000 other living creatures found in the jungles which are targeted, are dying due to loss of habitat and increased visibility to poachers.

2- Deforestation

As shown in the first point, deforestation has a massive impact on wildlife and biodiversity, with habitat destruction source. Deforestation through clear cutting and slash and burn techniques is also said to account for 10% of CO2 emissions caused by humans, making it a significant contributor to global warming. By taking a stand on your palm oil consumption, you are protecting animals, trees, and the air we breathe.

 3- Human Rights Abuse

An often and tragically overlooked impact of producing and consuming palm oil is the direct consequences it has on people. Despite arguments for the millions of people the palm oil industry provides employment to in the developing world, this employment comes at a cost, concealing unspeakable corruption.

Some of the largest palm oil producers are notorious human rights violators, turning a blind eye to or directly facilitating human trafficking and bonded child labor in their plantation workforces. They also are the cause of massive displacements of indigenous people in Borneo, Malaysia, and elsewhere, with corporations taking over the land and resources they have depended on for generations. This makes palm oil a social justice issue of far-reaching proportions.

4- Health concerns

And last, but not least, Palm oil has recently been at the center of numerous health concerns. Although palm oil in its fresh form contains many health benefits, when it goes through processing, and most notably if it is heavily refined at temperatures over 200 C, it becomes oxidized. In this state, the European Food Safety Authority found it has the potential to generate more potential carcinogens than any other vegetable oil. Regardless, once oxidized, it is still known to create toxicity, to be high in heart-risk saturated fats, bad for cholesterol, and a cause of low-grade inflammation.

So, even though palm oil has become so common in products that we consume, seeking out ways to avoid it is a powerful way to send a message. Because of the pressure of consumers and environmental organizations, movement toward ethical and ecological palm oil production is beginning. That needs to continue, and fast.

Check this list of everyday products that contain palm oil to get yourself going, and the powerful video on conflict palm oil below.

http://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/which-everyday-products-contain-palm-oil

The Human Cost of Conflict Palm Oil

Resources:

http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php

http://www.ran.org/palm_oil

https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/palm-oil

http://humanfoodproject.com/palm-oil-maybe-not-such-a-good-idea-after-all/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/is-palm-oil-good-for-your-health/

Tala is currently completing her psychotherapy certification at the Ontario Psychotherapy and Counseling Program. Her passions include alternative knowledge systems and overcoming boundaries and blockages both within and outside of the self, and finding critical, holistic, conscious approaches to education.

She believes that encounters and explorations of tensions related to race, class, gender and colonization—in both old and new forms—can lead to healing and a greater awareness of the interconnections between self, ‘other’ and the environment we live in. She believes that looking at food from farm to plate and its role in environmental, communal/cultural and personal health is a pivotal way to do so.

Comments

  1. ummayad on March 16, 2017 at 12:20 pm said:

    this is a very interesting and painful topic. the info provided, the video and the links shared are very very helpful to know more about this tragic industry, and how and what to do to stop purchasing any product and label/brand that uses palm oil. thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram

Follow Us

Contact Us

Your Name

Subject

Message

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news and blogposts!
Thanks for signing up.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
×
×
WordPress Popup