All About Palm Oil
Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil harvested in Malaysia, Indonesia, and West Africa. In one year, millions and millions of tons of palm oil are produced.
The oil itself can come from the flesh of the palm's fruit (called palm oil or palm fruit oil), or, it can be harvested from the kernel of the fruit (palm kernel oil). The more popular of the two is the former.
The reason that there is so much more demand for palm oil than palm kernel oil is because it does not have a significant amount of saturated fats. However, palm kernel oil does have saturated fats. Both are also very cheap, so it is just what multinational food corporations such as PepsiCo, General Mills, and Kraft can use without spending so much.
But why is it bad for the environment? Well, for one thing, they need space to plant the palm trees that will make their oil. So, they burn the rainforest and everything living in it. Each time they are done with an area, they burn more and more. However, some palm oil farms decided to go green. Instead of burning and burning the rainforest constantly, they decided to designate one area for planting and replanting palm trees. The palm oil produced here is called sustainable palm oil. So, even if some of your favorite foods contain palm oil, they might still be okay to buy and enjoy. How do you find out? Just look it up at our website.
The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil
Believe it or not, there is a whole organization dedicated to promoting the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products. This is the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). If a company chooses to become a member of the RSPO, they must promise not to buy crude (non- sustainable) palm oil. They must also support the actions of the RSPO at all times.
The seat of the RSPO is in Zurich, Switzerland, while there are secretaries in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Jakarta, Indonesia. To learn more, and for a list of members, you can visit their website at www.rspo.org.