Nowadays palm oil is one of the most popular oils that we people love to consume. Not only is it very harmful for us, it is also destroying our environment rapidly. It is known that palm oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America, with 85% globally produced and exported from Malaysia and Indonesia.
How to reduce suffering and death in producer countries and how to prevent that rain forest ends up on our dinner tables and in our fuel tanks…
Palm oil is literally everywhere – in our foods, cleaning products, fuels and even in our cosmetics. But the main question is: What consequence does it have for our world?
Displacement of the people who have lived in their country since all life, loss of biodiversity and deforestation are all consequences of our palm oil consumption. It’s high time to make a change! We have to protect people and our nature.
How many tons of palm oil do you think we need every year?
It is frightening to know that we need 66 tons of palm oil annually and this is why palm oil is the most commonly produced vegetable oil. There is another number, which is quite shocking, you might not know but the plantations are currently covering more than 27 million hectares of the Earth’s surface.
It is extremely bad for the climate, the forest habitat is cleared and if this does not change, species such as the orangutan, elephants and tigers are threatened with extinction (vom Aussterben bedroht)!
Our daily palm oil consumption also impacts our health! It contains large amounts of harmful fatty acid that are known to damage DNA and cause cancer!
Products that contain palm oil
In the following quiz you can guess which of these products contain palm oil and which do not. As you can see, these products are very common and too many of us are buying these products without knowing how harmful it is for our environment. We should watch out and see if there are any alternative products that we can buy instead.
Impacts on animals
Deforestation is a huge problem in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra and many of the over 300,000 different types of animals are injured or even killed. It is shocking that over 50,000 orangutans have already died in the last two decades as a result of deforestation. Other animals that suffer because of the palm oil plantations are species like the Sumatran tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sun Bear, Elephant, Leopard and monkeys.
Experience and conclusion
In the beginning I was quite excited to do that project with some students from Izmir but unfortunately all of them couldn’t work together with me anymore because of different reasons. But still it was very interesting for me to learn more about palm oil and what it causes to our environment. It was also quite shocking for me to see what products actually contain palm oil in our daily life and how much of it we daily consume. Although it is still difficult to relinquish (verzichten) palm oil products, we could inform us about alternatives to use them instead of palm oil products.
Jessica, Team Zürich
Irem, Cagla, Team Izmir
SURVEY / QUIZ
Survey (surveyhero.com) about palm oil.
Correct answers and some survey results
– but most people (36.84%) answered “half as much as Germany”
Palm oil products (a-z-animals.com)
Products that contain palm oil (deforestationeducation.com)
What is palm oil used for (greenpalm.org)