By buying products containing sustainable palm oil, you are choosing to preserve the world’s rainforests. Palm oil is the most widely processed oil product worldwide. This requires the planting of huge numbers of oil palms and, as a result, far too much rainforest has been felled to make way for these oil palm plantations. Of course, this cannot continue. Without rainforests, our life on earth would be unthinkable. We would not get enough clean oxygen in the air to live and breathe healthy. Without rainforests, we would all eventually die. We really can’t live without them. The answer is sustainable palm oil!
Sustainable palm oil in thousands of products
Palm oil is not so easy to replace. Just think of the alternatives, sunflower oil for example. Sunflowers produce proportionally much less oil per hectare than oil palms do. This would mean that even more land would have to be felled in order to plant more sunflowers. The same applies to other vegetable oils, where much more land would be needed than is currently the case with palm oil. This is because oil palms require relatively little space for the amount of oil they produce. A quick calculation, oil palms produce 3.8 tons of oil per year per hectare. Sunflowers, coconut palms or rapeseed only produce 0.5-0.8 tons per year. Then you would need almost 5 hectares of sunflowers, coconut palms or rapeseed to get the same yield.
Stay away from the rainforest!
As described earlier, we cannot do without the rainforests, but it is precisely in those places that oil palms grow very well. Oil palms are tropical palms and they do not do well in Sweden or Iceland. But we need the rainforest, so clear agreements had to be made about growing the oil palms. To this end, an organisation has been set up that monitors the palm oil farms and production closely and has drawn up strict rules. For example, no more rainforest may be cut down for new fields, the diversity of flora and fauna must remain intact and the people working on the plantations must not be children! The workers also must not be paid less than minimum wage. By setting these strict but clear rules, we in Europe can now say that over 86% of all products are made with sustainable palm oil.
Stop boycotting palm oil
So, as you’ve read, it’s not at all wise to boycot palm oil. By choosing products with other vegetable oils in them, you are in fact choosing to be less sustainable. Not to mention products containing animal fats (which is disgusting, if you think about it). Sustainable palm oil teaches us that we can always improve as human beings. That we are all capable of working with Mother Earth instead of going against her and destroying her. Sustainable palm oil also teaches us that there is hope for the future, that by making smart clear rules about how oil palms should be grown, we are all contributing to a better world.