Jeff Bogle Updated: May. If you do want to use vegetable oil, palm oil has the lowest environmental impact so that would be the best choice (you can also read some more about that here). There are countless … While it may have some health benefits, its production has major environmental and ethical concerns. When land is cleared for palm oil plantations it is often burned. Why is it so Bad? The World Wildlife Fund estimates that an area about the size of 300 football fields is cleared each hour in tropical rainforests for palm oil production. The problem is that oil palm only grows well in extremely hot and humid conditions with regular rainfall. Palm oil is everywhere - in our food, cosmetics, cleaning products and even fuels. (Image credit: Shutterstock) Why is palm oil bad for the environment? Why is palm oil bad for rainforests? When it comes to the problems in question, deforestation is the big one. Palm oil is the most consumed oil in the world. So big that you don’t even need to zoom on Google Earth to see the damage. From ice cream and soap, to pizza dough and detergent, palm oil is virtually impossible to avoid. Final Report . But why is palm oil considered 'evil'? The term covers various things we get from a species of tropical palm called Elaeis guineensis. Many point to concerns over the oil's high saturated fat content, the methods by which it is grown, and the long-term effects that this now-booming industry will have in the future. It's in almost everything, and you wouldn't even know it. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) indicated in 2007 that oil palm plantations are the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia. Palm oil is a kind of vegetable oil, like sunflower or rapeseed oil but many consider it to be bad for the environment. This is an issue that has serious impacts for people — and the environment. Recently, I’ve tried to cut back on palm oil. By Rhett A. Butler Last update: July 16, 2020 Read more. 25 Jan. Palm oil and/or it’s derivatives are found in approximately half of the packaged products sold worldwide. The destruction of rainforest is also very bad for the environment, as often big parts of forest are set on fire, emitting huge amounts of CO2 into the air. The palm oil industry has grown rapidly over the past 20 years. The growing number of palm oil plantations are also bad for humans. Coconut oil also isn’t too bad, but as coconuts are sometimes harvested using monkeys, it’s hard to know when it’s vegan. Palm oil plantations are expanding more rapidly than almost any other agricultural commodity. Palm oil leads to deforestation. Giving Up Palm Oil Might Actually Be Bad for the Environment The trouble with the maligned crop isn’t its popularity, but where it’s planted Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of oil palm trees. Why is palm oil bad for the environment? In Benin most palm oil is still produced by women for domestic use. Palm oil trees grow best on land that has not been previously used for agriculture, which means primary rainforests are cleared to make room for expanding palm plantations. Study on the environmental impact of palm oil consumption and on existing sustainability standards . Some of these food products include bread, margarine, ice cream, biscuits, crackers, various chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, doughnuts and potato chips. Palm oil may be found in more than 50% of products on supermarket shelves. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil started certifying palm oil that met environmental standards 10 years ago, but many of its members continued to cut down forests. But often it’s listed under a huge number of names which do not always include the word ‘palm’. And if you eat packaged foods today, you’re very likely consuming refined palm oil — whether you know it or not. Ferrero Group claims to have 99.5% traceability to the plantations and countries from which their palm oil comes. LEGAL NOTICE . Palm oil is often associated with tropical deforestation above all else. Palm oil is grown in the tropics, and clearing for plantations has destroyed vast swathes of rich, green rainforest. Why is palm oil bad for the environment? Palm oil comes from the oil palm tree, which is native to West Africa. Experts estimate that palm oil is in about 50% of all packaged items. The Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil or RSPO was formed in 2004 in response to increasing concerns about the impacts palm oil was having on the environment and on society. However, most palm oil is currently grown in Indonesia and Malaysia. With demand for palm oil rising rapidly, there is growing concern about its sustainability and awareness that some palm oil is “good” and some is “bad”. Why Palm Oil is Bad: This page talks about why palm oil is bad for the environment and the devastating impact palm oil plantations have on indonesian rainforests and endangered species like the orangutan Producing the edible oil wreaks havoc on the environment, leading to deforestation, habitat degradation, and loss of animal habitat. It produces up to 10 times more oil per unit area than soybeans, rapeseed or sunflowers. While high yielding crops are generally pretty sustainable, that is not true in the case of palm oil. Benin Palm oil is an ancient staple in West Africa, and its origins are artisanal rather than industrial. If so many things contain it though, why is it so bad? Last summer’s promises to stop the destruction of forests from government, palm producers and companies that use the oil show those efforts are strengthening. What is palm oil? Palm oil is made from the pulp of oil palm fruit. The trouble is it seems to be in everything. But why is it bad? There's no getting around it: Palm oil is not good for the environment. Palm oil, produced from the oil palm, is a basic source of income for many farmers in South East Asia, Central and West Africa, and Central America.It is locally used as cooking oil, exported for use in much commercial food and personal care products and is converted into biofuel. Why is palm oil bad? Red palm oil is unfiltered and high in carotenoids, which are pigments that give it a characteristic reddish hue. Is Palm Oil Bad for the Environment? Palm oil can be produced more sustainably and things can change. The website also contains key numbers. Often land is being stolen from the local population and this means people are forced to move or have difficulty growing sufficient food. Posted on 25/01/2017 31/01/2017 by brenda. Food, toiletries, cleaning products. Why More People Need to Be Talking About How Palm Oil is Damaging the Environment. But the campaign against palm oil (the production of which is responsible for 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions and the loss of at least 100,00 critically endangered Bornean orangutans) is growing. Get answers below! Palm oil is one of the primary causes for deforestation. Well, it is bad for our environment. Finding free from products is proving to be tough and the brands that I have found are often more expensive. Download Report Palm Oil Paradox: Sustainable Solutions to Save the Great … 29, 2020. This report explains palm oil plantations’ impact on the environment and highlights the resulting destruction of great ape habitats across Southeast Asia and Africa. Another study by Princeton and a Swiss institution reported that between 1990 and 2005, up to 60% of palm oil expansion occurred at the expense of primary tropical rain forest. Palm oil is a popular oil found in many foods. Since the demand for palm oil has risen, beginning in the late 20th century, huge areas of forest in south-east Asia and Africa have been destroyed. Certain types of palm trees produce large red fruit which are rich with oil. The information and views set out in this study are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the Commission. Palm oil is primarily harvested from palm trees that grow in rainforests — and as explained by Rainforest Rescue, developers often bulldoze or set fire to land in rainforests to make room for more palm oil plantations. Why Palm Oil Is So Bad For The Environment. It's Bad for Health. The RSPO has a production standard that sets best practices producing and sourcing palm oil, and it has the buy-in of most of the global industry. Palm oil comes from the fruit on tropical oil palm trees. This makes it difficult for consumers to know what is in the products they buy. Palm oil has been linked to Heart Disease and high cholesterol levels among those who consume a … The Palm Oil Industry Is Bad News. And does sustainable palm oil exist? Very big in fact. AFP/AFP/Getty Images . Benefits of palm oil include decreasing cholesterol levels, reducing oxidative stress, boosting brain health, slowing the progression of heart disease, increasing vitamin A … From a subsistence crop in Africa to its establishment as a major global commodity in Southeast Asia, this agro-industry has had tremen- dous positive impacts, but also dramatic negative con-sequences. The Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this study. Nutella’s website contains significant information regarding palm oil: What it is, how palm oil is harvested, environmental allegations against the company, and frequently asked questions about the crucial ingredient. 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