What is the Big Deal with Palm Oil?

When it comes to vegetable oils palm oil is considered the most controversial of them all. Today we are going to delve into why that is.  

The oil is often found in products such as bread, ice cream, and other processed foods, as it is trans-fat free, as well as some cosmetics such as makeup and soap 

What is palm oil? 

Palm oil is an indispensable part of our daily lives: the WWF estimates that palm oil is an ingredient in around 50 per cent of all supermarket products – from detergents and lipstick to ice cream and sausages. In addition, much of the palm oil that is produced ends up in our vehicles in the form of biofuel.  

It is derived from the oil palm tree which originates from Africa but is now grown in Malaysia and Indonesia, these two countries produce 90% of the worlds palm oil.  

Is it bad for us? 

Palm oil has a high saturated fat content, which can be harmful to cardiovascular health. However, there have also been studies carried out saying that palm oil also The vegetable oil is also a great source of tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E – an

“antioxidant that provides protection to your cells and that can reduce your risk of certain health problems such as heart disease and cancer,” 

according to Livestrong

Is palm oil bad for the environment? 

The main issue with palm oil is the fact that it is extremely harmful impact on the planet. 

To produce palm oil, the fruit is collected from the trees, which can live an average of 28 to 30 years. However, once the trees grow too high, making it difficult to reach the fruit, they are cut down to make room for new trees.  

To keep up with the incredibly high demand for the cheaply produced oil, acres of rainforest are being cut down – leading to a loss of animal habitat for endangered species. 

In the past 16 years, the quest for palm oil has led to the death of an estimated 100,000 orangutans. 

50% of all deforestation for palm trees is done by fire which releases carbon dioxide. 

The EU says by 2020 that all palm oil will be cut out from biofuels. In some people’s eyes this is regarded as a good thing however to others they think that Europe is cutting out palm oil not for the environment but for to sustain the canola and sunflower industry in Europe. Palm oil is a uniquely productive crop. On a per hectare basis, oil palm trees are 6-10 times more efficient at producing oil than temperate oilseed crops such as rapeseed, soybean, olive and sunflower 

My Opinion 

I believe that we should all boycott palm oil in a bid to stop the production even though it is more land effective is that something to trade for mass deforestation and displacement of endangered animals. 

 Your Opinion 

What is your opinion? 

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