Palm oil comes from fruit-bearing palm trees, and has the highest oil yield of any crop. It is one of the most widely implemented products in the world, and is common in peanut butter, cookies, lotions, soaps, and moisturizers, among roughly half of products at an average store.
However, a lack of regulation in its cultivation has led to massive deforestation to make room for southeast Asian palm plantations. Native trees are being replaced by palms, and as a result, many animals have been forced out of their natural habitat or negligently killed. In addition, the climate has taken a massive hit — palms don’t release as much water as native trees, which causes a decrease in rain and an increase in temperature.
The likelihood that companies will stop using palm oil in their products is next to zilch. It is incredibly versatile, relatively inexpensive, and hugely popular. There are organizations, however — such as the WWF’s Rountable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and The Forest Trust (TFT) — that are working toward increasing accountability in the production and extraction of palm oil.
With your help we were able to convince General Mills to stop contributing to deforestation — the company has pledged to source all of its palm oil from RSPO-certified producers. Thank you for taking action to protect our rainforests!
Check out RSPO’s video on sustainable palm oil to learn more about the organization and how it protects our forests.