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Why Is Palm Oil Bad For The Environment?

Why Is Palm Oil Bad For The Environment?

What is palm oil?

Palm oil is said to be the most important and versatile oil, but what is it? Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that is found in the fruit of oil palm trees. It is often used in food manufacturing, beauty products and biofuel. 

Palm oil has many amazing properties, hence why it is so popular. For example, at room temperature the oil is semi-solid meaning it keeps spreads spreadable, it is resistant to oxidation which helps products keep a longer shelf-life, and it is completely odourless and colourless making it a great addition to food products. 

Why is palm oil bad for the environment?

Products containing palm oil are extremely harmful to the environment, this is due to the production of palm oil. The trees are grown in tropical rainforest regions in places like Africa, South-East Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia. They are planted for the oil to later be extracted… this has sadly led to deforestation, which destroys the habitat of already endangered species, including; Orangutans, Pygmy elephants and Sumatran rhinos. 

According to Rainforest Rescue, the equivalent of 300 football fields are being destroyed every hour in Indonesia.

This heart-breaking level of deforestation has resulted in high co2 levels and is throwing out millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which is contributing to climate change. 

What is the solution?

Big companies need to be transparent, they also need to start investigating where their palm oil comes from and purchase the goods from responsible growers only.

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