WHAT IS PALM OIL?
Palm oil is a vegetable oil that is derived from the African oil palm tree. 85% of the world's palm oil derives from Malaysia and Indonesia. Because it is so cheap to produce, it is the primary ingredient of processed foods commonly found in supermarkets around the world. Its derivatives are commonly found in cosmetics, cleaning and laundry products. Due to the lack of labeling, you would never know that you are using a product that contains palm oil.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE?
Firstly, there is the devastating impact on the environment. Palm oil continues to be one of the major reasons for deforestation in some of the world's biodiverse forests.
Coupled with deforestation, highly fragile carbon-rich soil emits millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases, it is the major contributor to climate change. To understand the magnitude of the destruction, every hour, an area equivalent to the size of 300 football fields is cleared to make room for palm oil production.
Secondly, because of deforestation by the palm oil industry, it has forced many species to the brink of extinction and onto the critically endangered list, such as tigers, rhinos, orangutans, pygmy elephants, leopards. In the past 16 years, the palm oil industry has led to the loss of an estimated 100,000 orangutans. Those that are not injured or dead, suddenly without their natural habitat, are now exposed to poachers.
- The United Nation’s Environmental Program (UNEP) predicts that most of Indonesia’s rainforest could be destroyed by 2022.
- Extinction in the wild is likely in the next 10 years for Sumatran Orangutans and soon after the Borneo Orangutans – according to the World Wildlife Fund.
- One-third of all mammal species in Indonesia are currently endangered, due to losing their homes in the deforestation process.
In Borneo and Sumatra, an estimated 1,000 - 5,000 orangutans are killed each year for the development of palm oil.
Thirdly, it has also been linked to major human rights violations, including child labor and the mistreatment of Indigenous communities.
WHAT ABOUT SUSTAINABLE PALM-OIL?
Some companies claim to be sustainable. This means that they do not contribute to massive land degradation, climate change, animal extinction, and the exploitation of the indigenous people.
WHY WE ARE PALM OIL-FREE
Digging in a bit further we felt that we weren't getting the answers that we wanted. Companies were being vague about the origin of their "sustainable palm oil" and we could not receive any certifications that it is truly sustainable. Because of that, we've decided to become 100% palm oil-free. We are vegans and animal rights activists, so for us, it was a no brainer to become palm oil-free as well. When we first started this company, we had a vision of a company that has integrity. A company that makes its decisions based on what is good for the environment, the animals, and also for our community. We are always looking for ways to become more sustainable and to lessen our carbon footprint.
When I first heard about the atrocity of this industry, I felt so powerless and angry because I thought I couldn't do anything to stop this horrific destruction. But then I educated myself with other hidden names for palm oil and used my wallet to purchase products that are palm oil-free. Which basically means no more processed foods. Goodbye, palm oil chips, and cookies!! You can continue the fight by supporting organizations that protect the rainforest and its people and sign every petition that you can find. Together, we can create the change that we want.
HIDDEN NAMES FOR PALM OIL
The number one disguise for palm oil is vegetable oil/vegetable fat. Not all vegetable oil is palm oil though. Which can be tricky. If a product's saturated fat content makes up more than 40 percent, it will most likely contain palm oil. If you are unsure of an ingredient, what I tend to do is search for that ingredient on my phone. It is tedious but it only takes a few minutes.
OTHER DISGUISES: Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hydrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol