Many forests around the world are fighting for their life after the introduction to cheep palm oil! Indonesia for example is home to some of the world’s mixed array of wonderful creatures and plays a huge part in stabilising the global climate. And yet 80% of the Indonesian’ s forest has been destroyed or degraded while the rest of the forest is under threat by palm oil.
The global production of palm oil has doubled over the last 10 years. In 2000 palm oil was the most produced and traded oil accounting for 40% of all the vegetable oils traded internationally. By 2006 the percentage had risen to 65% and it has been predicted to have doubled again by 2020. Which is such a scary thought!
Palm oil comes from the fruit of the Elapses Guineenis tree or also known as Palm Tree. (Which only grows in the tropics) The fruit produces high quality versatile oils.
The versatility of palm oil has replaced the use of animal and other vegetable oils in a huge wide variety of products we buy today. In addition to its versatility palm oil is also a very productive crop. Resulting in palm oil producing double the amount of oil per a hectare, per a year then any other vegetable all. Which brings the cost to produce palm all dramatically less than any other vegetable all.
Over 50% of products including baked goods, confectionery, cosmetics, baby products and cleaning products contain palm all as …
- Cooking oil
- Main ingredients for most margarines
- Ice Cream, ready meals and chocolate
- The base for most liquid soaps, shampoo and detergents
- The base product for lipstick and polish
- Used as a industrial lubricant
- Used as a bio – fuel
But in most countries there is no law saying companies have to include palm oil in their ingredients list. Resulting in most companies hiding the fact they use palm oil in their products.
No in my opinion, over 30 years ago palm oil was rarely used, in fact it was almost non existent. There are many alternatives to palm oil such as sunflower oil or coconut oil. But unfortunately in these economic times they are not as cheap or cost effective for companies to use in their products.
- Look on food labels and if in the ingredients it states only vegetable oil, look at the amount of saturated fat this product contains. If the product contains over 40% of saturated fat then this product is made from palm oil.
- Recognise brands that contain palm oil. For example Hovis, Vanish, Haribo, Bisto gravy, Soft clover spread, Persil, Crunchy nut cornflakes, Pedigree Chum etc.. For a full list of companies please visit here.
- Look for products that contain alternative oils such as 100% sunflower oil or 100% coconut oil.
- If a product is organic or natural it does not mean its palm oil free as palm oil is a organic and natural product in itself.
- Recognise the ingredients that contain palm oil for example Sodium Laureth Sulphate (Can also be from coconut), Sodium Lauryl Sulphates (can also be from ricinus oil), Sodium dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS), Palmate, Palm Oil Kernal, Palmitate. To find out more about unlabelled palm oil ingredients check out here.
How do you feel about Palm Oil? Do we really need Palm Oil or Can we live without it?