Palm Oil – Effects and Consequences

Palm oil has always been a concern of mine due to the effects it has on the environment, but has now come into the public eye recently through the disasters of the Indonesian deforestation via out-of-control fires. As palm oil is gained through monoculture plantations, using a slash-and-burn methods, this causes a major loss of habitat for many animal species as well as large-scale deforestation. The actual effects from slash-and-burn can cause death to the animals through smoke inhalation, and burns.

www.idealistrevolution.org
http://www.idealistrevolution.org

Slash-and-burn is also associated with soil erosion, air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, and climate change. (http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/environmental_impacts/)

“Today it’s estimated that fewer than 50,000 [orangutans] exist in the wild, split into small group with little chance of long-term survival.” http://greenpalm.org/about-palm-oil/social-and-environmental-impact-of-palm-oil

Government data has shown that over 50,000 orangutans have already died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades.http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php

A network of access roads on former orang-utan habitat inside the PT Karya Makmur Abadi Estate II palm oil concession.   PT KMA II is a subsidiary of the Malaysian Kuala Lumpar Kepong Berhad (KLK) group.news.mongabay.com
A network of access roads on former orang-utan habitat inside the PT Karya Makmur Abadi Estate II palm oil concession. PT KMA II is a subsidiary of the Malaysian Kuala Lumpar Kepong Berhad (KLK) group.news.mongabay.com

There are also a variety of social impacts including loss of livelihood, child labour, social conflict, forced migration and land grabs (http://www.sustainablepalmoil.org/consumers-retailers/consumers/environmental-and-social-impacts/)

Palm oil can be found in a variety of different products in the household, including foods, cleaning products, toiletries, and washing detergents. “This single vegetable oil is found in approximately 40-50% of household products” (http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php)

These products are often hard to find as the companies alter the names of palm oil in their ingredients to a wide variety of alternative names (a comprehensive list can be found on the link below), which makes it very hard to reduce personal palm oil consumption.

http://www.palmoilinvestigations.org/names-for-palm-oil

However, I have recently found the link below which contains a quick list of main companies to avoid, as well as a comprehensive list of specific products (ranged in categories green for okay buy, orange for cautious buy and red for don’t buy).

http://webapi.acceleratemediahub.com/api/simpleFile/DownloadSimpleFiles?applicationToken=rainforestfoundation&authenticationToken=&simpleFileIds=1f160af0-e39e-4599-9cc4-248960a598a4

Hopefully, this will allow me to now add “reduce palm oil consumption” to my shopping aims.

There is also a 28 day Palm Oil challenge (http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/What_can_i_do.php) which you can sign up for to aid in reducing palm oil effects. Some people are even getting sponsored to do this.

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