Palm oil is not bad, in fact it has a higher yield per hectare. Less fertiliser is needed and pesticides do not destroy the plants easily. Although the method of clearing land to grow palm plantation is inexpensive, it is definitely not sustainable and causes long and short term effects on the environment and to us.
Palm oil is found in 50% of all products sold in supermarkets in Singapore. Products like bread, biscuits, chocolate, ice cream, make up,detergent, shampoo e.c.t, all contain palm oil. By reading the back of a product you can find ‘palm oil’ or ‘palm kernel’ in the ingredient list. Most non-food products such as soaps and shampoos hide the word ‘palm oil’ by using scientific names such as Sodium Palm Kernelate and Palmitic Glycerin. By identifying few of these terms we can make simple changes in our lifestyles by eliminating these products from our diets and daily lives. Whenever I am unsure about the scientific names of palm oil, I have a list in my wallet. This is a great way of being an ethical consumer!
|List of Palm Oil Disguises.|
Sustainable Palm Oil
Sustainable Palm Oil is a better way of maintaining palm oil plantations. The Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) has prompted the growth of using certified palm oil.
This is where plantations meet the highest standards and values set by the RSPO. Sustainable Palm Oil Plantations are established on lands where there was no significant wildlife present. Here are the RSPO Values and principles: http://www.rspo.org/certification/how-rspo-certification-works
Some of their values are: Minimising the amount of chemicals used to burn forests, reducing the amount of carbon emissions in the air, and to not damage the biodiversity and wildlife.
Why can't we boycott palm oil?
The Palm Oil industry are huge, they lifts thousands of people out of poverty. Farmers are provided with jobs and decent wages. People rely on this industry to give them a source of income, feed their families and send their children to school. The boycotting of palm oil would stop this from happening.
If we boycott palm oil, the demand for the vegetable oil will still be there. Companies would have to find an alternative vegetable oil to replace palm oil. This could lead to even more deforestation and rapid extinction of animals.
Boycotting a company will stop them from buying palm oil from countries where deforestation is occurring. Producers and farmers would then loose interest in participating in sustainable palm oil practice. On a large scale, the production of sustainable palm oil would decrease.
Sources used on this page (Bibliography)
"Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard Measuring the Progress of Palm Oil Buyers." WWF Report Int 203. N.p., n.d. Web.
"The Haze." WWF -. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2015. <http://www.wwf.sg/take_action/the_haze/#TAB1196853_1>.
"RSPO - Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil - How RSPO Certification Works." How RSPO Certification Works. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2015. <http://www.rspo.org/certification/how-rspo-certification-works>.
"Palm Oil Scorecard Shows Best and Worst Companies for Responsible Sourcing." TreeHugger. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2015. <http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/palm-oil-scorecard-ranks-companies-their-commitment-sourcing-deforestation-free-palm-oil.html>.
Fogatry, David. "Indonesia Set to Be World's No.3 Air Polluter." The Sunday Times [Singapore] 18 Oct. 2015: A6-A7. Print.