*This blog post is sponsored by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.
Each day we choose products for my family to use. Products that will enhance our life in some way. With each purchase we try to ensure that the products are healthy and good for our family. However, one thing that many of us do not consider is what effect the ingredients have on our world or the countries that produce the ingredients. Recently, I have been made aware of palm oil, which is in nearly 50% of the products that consumers purchase each day. Palm oil is an efficient source of vegetable oil, but its rapid expansion threatens some of the planet’s most important and sensitive habitats.
Palm oil grows in tropical rainforests, and the uncontrolled clearing of these forests for conventional palm oil plantations has led to widespread loss of these irreplaceable and biodiverse rich forests. Plantations have also been connected to the destruction of habitat for endangered species, including orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos. The World Resources Institute estimates that Indonesia lost more than 6 million hectares of primary forest between 2000 and 2012 – an area half the size of England. This may not be your home however it is important to recognize that these rainforests are home to more than 10 million species of plants, animals and insects. In addition, they are seen as a potential source of cures for a range of diseases and known as the ‘lungs of the planet’, due to the amount of carbon dioxide they recycle into oxygen.
At first it seems insignificant when considering palm oil as only a small part of everyday products. However, the fact is that the palm oil in our products has a significant impact on our world. You may not use it as your traditional cooking oil, however palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil on the planet which accounts for 65% of all vegetable oil traded internationally.
While many may be aware of the palm oil that is part of their products such as: cookies, bread, ice cream, pizza, lipstick and more, they are not aware that there is both good palm oil and bad palm oil.
Good palm oil is palm oil that is grown sustainability, which benefits local communities, and helps to protect valuable species and forests. By using sustainable practices, farmers can increase their income by making more palm oil from less land. On the other hand, bad palm oil is grown unsustainable and has a big impact on people and the environment, sometimes destroying forests and the homes of animals.
According to the USDA there was 59.6 million Metric Tonnes of palm oil produced in 2013 and only 9.8 million Metric Tonnes of certified sustainable palm oil was produced. The RSPO (Round Table of Sustainable Palm Oil) is working to change that and has already started to see a change! 13 countries currently have RSPO certified producers and many companies are displaying the RSPO trademark on their product packaging.
Make your choice heard by sharing this post and by visiting http://goodbadpalmoil.org/ to learn more about palm oil and how we can each do our part to be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.
Follow RSPO for more info:
So how can we help the people, animals and the rainforest? By saying yes to good palm oil and no to bad palm oil.