Did you know that many of the products you use throughout your day to day life contain palm oil? It is now predicted that nearly half of all packaged products found in the supermarket now contain palm oil.
These include most shampoo, detergents and even the ice cream you enjoy. It is the most consumed vegetable oil on the planet as it can grow in most climates and it’s very cheap to grow. As a result, companies use it to boost their profit margins. So, why is this a problem?
Palm oil itself grows in the same area as tropical rainforests- the same habitat of many of our favourite animals such as orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers. Unfortunately, to keep up with the demand for this oil, there has been unprecedented clearing of land for the creation of conventional palm oil plantations.
This has resulted in the widespread loss of truly irreplaceable forests. The demand for palm oil has already been linked to mass deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia and even caused a smoke haze that choked the country of Singapore.
On top of this, local indigenous people have also been thrown out of their homeland, losing centuries of tradition and culture all for the price of oil. As well as the environmental cost, palm oil is also very bad for human consumption. It’s naturally very high in saturated fats, which have been linked to heart disease and heart failure.
This is extremely concerning as it can be found in many of the foods we love. Consequently, it is only adding to the obesity crisis that is killing millions of people every year.
To reduce the impact of this oil, we must make an active effort to limit it where possible. Look for alternative products for your hair and detergent and check your foods before making a purchase. Only together can we put an end to this growing crisis.