Palm oil is everywhere, It is an edible vegetable oil derived from the fruit of palm oil trees, that are grown in the tropics. As the World Wildlife Federation notes, 85 per cent of the global supply of palm oil comes from Indonesia and Malaysia.
Being cheap, palm oil is a very popular cooking oil, particularly in Asian and African countries. Additionally, in the west, Palm oil is found in Instant noodles, Pizza dough, Bread, Margarine, Cookies, Chocolate, Ice cream, Shampoo and Lipstick. Additionally it is also sold under a variety of other names: Elaeis guineensis, Etyl palmitate, Glyceryl, Hydrogenated palm glycerides, Octyl palmitate, Palm fruit oil, Palm kernel, Palm kernel oil, Palm stearine, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmitic acid, Palmitoyl oxostearamide, Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, Palmityl alcohol, Palmolein, Sodium kernelate, Sodium laureth sulfate, Sodium lauryl lactylate/sulphate, Sodium lauryl sulfate, Sodium palm kernelate, Stearate, Stearic acid, Vegetable fat, Vegetable oil.
Palm oil is cheap. It gives products a longer shelf-life, can also sustain high temperatures, and is both odorless and colorless, so it won’t change the product it’s incorporated into. And it is efficient to produce.
The DARK SIDE OF PALM OIL:
- Palm oil is partially responsible for the rapid deforestation in areas in Indonesia and Malaysia.
- Palm oil is often cited as the primary cause of the mass die-off of orangutans, who’ve shrunk from a population of 350,000 in 1990 to an estimated 50,000 (and with little chance of survival).
- Recently, issues of child labor have also arisen with a number of palm oil producers relying on children as young as eight as part of their workforce.
- Look for a product with a green “RSPO” sticker or a “Green Palm” label (this shows that a producer is making the transition to a more sustainable production process).