The truth about Palm oil

It’s a vegetable oil extracted from the palm tree’s fruit. It has a neutral taste and a high melting point, making it perfect for cooking and baking. Additionally, its creamy and fat texture makes it ideal for many cosmetic products, such as lipsticks, shampoos, moisturizers, and many more.

As it happens, it’s also the cheapest vegetable oil in the world. According to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO in short), palm oil plantations need less than half of the land required by other crops, such as rapeseed, canola or soy, to produce the same amount of oil.

Having so many sought-after properties and reasonably low cost of acquisition, it quickly became an easy choice for a number of industries, and with perfectly warm and humid weather, Indonesia and Malaysia became its biggest producers, satisfying about 85% of the global demand.

With its popularity continuously growing, more and more land was required for new plantations, which, unsurprisingly, lead to a substantial negative impact on the environment, such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change and animal cruelty. There even have been cases of modern day slavery, human trafficking, forced labor and torture. Vulnerable people are smuggled to Indonesia and Malaysia in barbaric conditions, with a promise of a better life, yet arriving at nothing more but prison-like labor camps. Those who try to escape are beaten and severely punished.

 

Read the rest on my guest blog post for The Happy Choices