It is time to pay attention to the ingredients in the products we use everyday. Why? Not only are some of these ingredients harmful for our bodies, they are harmful for the world around us. There are multitudes of ingredients that I could’ve written this article about but for today let’s focus on one: palm oil.
First of all, what is palm oil? It is an oil that is produced from the mesocarp of the fruit of the oil palms. It’s a very good product as it produces six times more oil than a hectare of canola, making it a far cheaper resource. It can be used for a multitude of things such as dish soap, pizza dough, lipstick, and biodiesel. It is a very resourceful product, however its impact on the environment can lead to long term problems, which we can not fix.
Oil palms are grown natively in west Africa but now, due to high demand, can be found growing in the Americas and Asia. The plant has a large amount of oil compared to, for instance the canola plant, but since so many products use it, the need for production is steady climbing.
The palm oil plant needs lots of land to grow. This is causing terrible deforestation and increased extinction of rainforest ecosystems, which means the death of millions of wildlife.
Why should we care? Already the signs of a changing environment can be seen in Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of palm oil. The soil in the rainforest is drying out and this is leading to terrible forest fires. Also, small farmers are being bought out to provide more land for the corporate production of palm oil. The areas where the natural biodiversity has been destroyed are already feeling the aftermath of the changes. Already the global warning gases over Indonesia have caused an increase in temperature.
The world is watching and with the air temperature slowly changing, many experts say, “the worst is yet to come.”
Block, Ben. “Global Palm Oil Demand Fueling Deforestation.” Global Palm Oil
Demand Fueling Deforestation | Worldwatch Institute. World Watch Institute,
n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2017. .
“Which Everyday Products Contain Palm Oil?” WWF. World Wildlife Fund, n.d. Web.
19 Apr. 2017. .