Palm oil – something that I had`nt even heard of 5 years ago – has now spread like a plague around the world. There is much controversy surrounding this oil, and most people today have some understanding of why palm oil is bad.
Palm oil has been used by people in Asia for decades as cooking oil, and as an additive in chips,cookies,candy,sauces and a hundred other things. As long as we were travelling in Asia, it was impossible to boycott palm oil, then we would have starved! As long as this consumption was concentrated in Asia it was sort-of under control, But in recent years, Western manufacturers started using it in every possible product. Palm oil is in fact cheaper than other oils, and since money is everything in today's world it was soo being used in everything from shampoo to chocolate spreads,biscuits and cheap chocolates.
Bio-fuel is one of the biggest reasons for the increase in palm oil production in recent years. Environmental Scientists and Greenpeace have made it quite clear that using vehicles powered by bio fuels is significantly more polluting than using regular gasoline. One must take into consideration the environmental consequences of cutting down millions of sqft of rainforest, which would otherwise be producing both oxygen and absorb CO2.
There is no reason why products in Europe and the United States should contain palm oil, There are many good(and marginally more expensive) alternatives. The use of palm oil helps make the wealthy industrialist even more wealthy, but has no benefit for the man on the street.
there has also been some studies to show that palm oil is damaging to the health.. Palm oil increases the bad type of cholesterol, and increases the risk of heart disease.
There is something called CSPO- certified sustainable palm oil – which is oil that comes from plantations that are able to better safeguarding of the environment,and no damage to regnskogen. They also have better social and economic standards of work-people. There is no official “Authorization” for “ethical” palm oil, so therefore it is impossible to know what is actually in the product containing palm oil. Within it actually legal to only sell products with CSPO, then it's probably no one is going to care about putting it on the pack.
Before I went to Borneo so I knew that palm oil was unethical and rainforest-destructive, but just how bad the situation actually was I really did`nt know until I saw it with my own eyes. I had always imagined Borneo as an exotic destination with abundant rainforest and wildlife all around. I must admit that Donald Duck has a lot to do with that image. He spent a lot of time travelling to Borneo, and every time he grasped for a liana it turned out to be a boa snake. My experience of Borneo was very different. Malaysian Borneo is very densely populated, many small towns and lots of industry. you have to look hard to find any rainforest. It's not just palm oil production which is obliterating the rainforest . In Sarawak province we drove past a giant industrial complex that was continually spewing out thick smoke. We learned that this was an aluminum smelter that was powered by electricity from a hydropower plant. To build the hydropower plant they had cut down enormous areas of forest, and almost all the power produced is used to run polluting industries that require even more deforestation. We soon found out that the “jungle-adventure” that we were hoping for, could not be easily arranged. The only surviving rainforest in Borneo is found in small,scattered reservoars , and the few who actually still have wild orangutans charges a lot of money from the tourists.
In the Sabah province(east-Borneo) we got a real sense of how little forest there is left. We were on a bus for 6 hours, and we saw no sign of any forrest or trees. There was only ugly palm oil plantations as far as the eye could see – mile after mile covering the open landscape,..
Only a few years ago all this land was covered with fertile and beautiful rainforest, whereas now there was nothing but pure capitalism in practice. The locals told us that all these plantations were owned by Chinese people. You can always count on the Chinese to destroy nature,eradicate species/biodiversity with a smile on their face at the though of all that money. The worst thing is that to get the people to support them, these Chinese capitalists incorporated their propaganda into the school system.
The kids are taught from an early age that there is nothing better than palm oil, and teachers are given sponsored trips to palm oil plantations for effective brainwashing. Most of the capital collected from harvesting the oil returns to China, or into the hands of corrupt politicians in Malaysia/Indonesia. It is quite sad that the local natives who have always lived in harmony with the forrest are now surrounded by useless palms., and have not received any compensation for the loss of their livelyhood. The only solution left for these people was to start working for palm oil plantations, earning pocket change. The capitalists who own the plantations have also imported cheap labor from Indonesia, which has forced the wages even lower.
This is a great documentary that focuses on the problem
An orangutan journey from jungle to hell…quite kjiip documentary on hard facts..
I would recommend anyone to Norway to check on the package that the chips / chocolate / biscuit / shampoo in the store do not contain palm oil. It is especially cheap goods of the store chain's own production containing palm oil. Disposal,coop and kiwi their goods, one should be extra suspicious of. Freia uses palm oil in assorted chocolates and chocolate sauces FY!
Have you ever got yourself a surprise when you examined the contents of a product that you have purchased ?
check Palmeoljeguide the Rainforest Foundation. If you are only going to donate to a cause as it is to save the rainforest definitely the main: Done Rings