Palm Oil FAQ

This seems necessary considering each time I post my giveaway someone asks me about this on Anon. It’s getting to be a hassle. So, you will all be redirected to this post!

  • What is palm oil? Where does it come from? 

Palm oil comes from the oil palm trees and can be cultivated only in tropical areas of Asia, Africa and South America. Yup, that’s it.

  • Why is it bad?

From the GreenPalm website, palm oil is causing “issues relating to biodiversity, soil degradation, local people, land rights and many other matters. Development of new plantations has resulted in the conversion of large areas of forests with high conservation value and has threatened the rich biodiversity in these ecosystems.

In particular orangutan habitats have been threatened by palm oil production. In 1900, there were around 315,000 orangutans. Today, fewer than 50,000 exist in the wild, split into small groups with little long–term chance of survival. Scientists say the palm oil industry is the biggest threat to orangutans, with the species driven to extinction within 12 years unless the devastation of their natural habitat is halted.” In Indonesia and Malaysia, in 15 years almost 98% of rainforests will be gone. In short: palm oil is a major cause of the deforestation of natural rain forests and is the reason that orangutans will be extinct in 10 years.

  • What kinds of foods contain palm oil?
All kinds. The other day I was in Shaws and I saw a type of almond butter that had palm oil in it. Even non-food products can be made from palm oil. In short: this stuff is everywhere. The demand for this stuff is global, and even Greenpeace, the WWF, Oxfam, and the Rainforest Action Network understand that no real direct “replacement” can be made for it.
  • Well, this sounds sad and hopeless. I feel like there’s no way out of this.
That’s why “sustainable” palm oil is just a big deal. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has been working since 2003 to promote sustainable palm oil. All the literature, certifications and whatnot, are on their website and able to be viewed by the public.
  • Why is it worse than any other unsustainable food product?

It’s not. It 100% isn’t. This is called caring about more than one thing at a time, and it takes responsibility, and it’s up to you. Palm oil just happens to be an issue we can take a stand on and effect change right now, and it’s important to do so. If you’re concerned about where your food comes from, buy local and buy in season.

  • Well, isn’t there any sustainable palm oil?

Why yes, apparently there is. I am not an expert on the companies that use sustainable palm oil, though, so if you and concerned about a product that contains palm oil, please check the whole label to see if it says “sustainable,” contact the company, or check Green Palm’s member list to see if the company in question is on it. If they are, please contact the company and ask them to correctly label their products as using sustainable palm oil – it’s important.

  • What are you doing about this?

I have boycotted palm oil. It’s safer that way, especially because highly-processed oils like that are bad for you anyway. Unless a label says specifically that it is sustainable palm oil, I won’t buy or consume it. Currently I have a petition going against CLIF Bar & Company asking them to remove it from their recipes. I’ll be approaching them with it when it reaches 2,000 signatures.

In honor of the palm oil boycott, I am hosting a fabulous giveaway! But, first thing’s first–you need to sign the petition to enter! No one can win until we reach 2,000 signatures.

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