I just found out where palm oil comes from.
And that palm oil production is a contentious, multifaceted problem.
I don’t eat much processed or packaged food. I’m mostly outside the junk and boxed food conversation.
Maybe that’s why palm oil wasn’t on my radar.
I never thought about where it comes from, how it’s produced, and most importantly, that it’s in many, many more products than I would have imagined.
(In the UK about 40% of manufactured food contains palm oil.)
I didn’t realize that palm oil has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere happens to be largely Indonesian plantations where carbon-sequestering, primate-dwelling rain forests used to grow.
Four palm oil problems:
1. Deforestation, with resultant CO2 emissions
2. Habitat destruction, with resultant impact on threatened species, including Orangutans.
3. Pervasive presence in processed foods, with resultant pressure to produce more and more.
4. Social justice issues with displacement of indigenous peoples.
Here are three articles from the past 5 years that talk about palm oil and its problems:
Now that I am aware of this issue, I will read labels more more carefully and keep learning about how palm oil sourcing and production can be made more sustainable.