Palm Oil

Introduction

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.

Main part

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.
Good luck!

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

1. What kind of oil do you think is most commonly used worldwide?
– Palm Oil
2. How many hectares of palm oil plantations are there worldwide?
– “twice as big as England” is correct
– but most people (36.84%) answered “half as much as Germany”
3. Which are the most affected countries from deforestation by palm oil plantations??
– most people (54.39%) answered “Indonesia, Malaysia”
4. What kind of vegetable oil do you think is the least harmful one for the environment?
– most people (40.35%) answered “sunflower oil” (no correct answer as it is strongly related to the agriculture’s sustainability)
5. Guess! How much palm oil is in a Nutella?
– most people (48.21%) answered “about 1/3”

 

Sources
Palm oil products
(a-z-animals.com)
Products that contain palm oil (deforestationeducation.com)
What is palm oil used for (greenpalm.org)

 

☵ Some words about the contributions »

8 thoughts on “Palm Oil

  1. Dear Project-Team ZürIzmir

    First of all, I want to say that your web contribution is very great!
    I found that article very interesting to read and I learnt a lot of new things about this important topic palm oil.
    The fact that in the jungles of Burneo and Sumatra over 300’000 animals are injured or even killed, really shocked me. It is also shocking, that in the last two decades, over 50’000 orangutans died because of deforestation.
    After I read this text about palm oil, I realised that we have to change it. We should all try to stop to use palm oil so often.
    This topic made me think about it. That’s why I researched more information about this exciting topic.

    I found a good page with information about the following points:
    8 Things to know about palm oil
    1. What is palm oil?
    2. What products is it in?
    3. Why is palm oil everywhere?
    4. What is the problem with palm oil?
    5. What solutions are there?
    6. Why we don’t just switch to an alternative vegetable oil?
    7. Can I trust RSPO certified products?
    8. What is being done in the UK?

    If you are interested in a point then click here:
    https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-things-know-about-palm-oil

  2. Dear Project-Team

    Your web contribution is very interesting. I’ve already heard much about palm oil and its bad consequences for our environment. I knew that many of good-tasting foods include palm oil. So, my family and I try to use other products. But as you said, it’s difficult because there are so many products with palm oil. It would interest me, if there is another oil that could be used as a replacement for palm oil and if it is better for our environment. Do you know anything about that?

    At least I want to say that it was a pleasure to read your article. When you do another project about palm oil you could for example also say something about how palm oil is harvested and produced. Perhaps there are also some videos or documentaries about that. That would be very fascinating.

    Thank you, that you took your time for this project. I hope that people get to know about the consequences of the palm oil consumption and realize, that we have to change something.

    Kind regards and keep on going!
    Lisa, Switzerland

  3. Dear Zürizmir- Team

    First of all, I want to say that I’ve really enjoyed reading this article and learned some new stuff. That the sources were given is a very good idea. With them, you can easily get more information about the topic, without searching on your own. In the end, there was a quite cool quiz to check if you learned something from this article. The questioning was very interesting, but I’ve wished that there were more information about palm oil – why do we use it, for what is it good and how can we replace/reduce it. I think you could also have given also more information about the consequences in the future. What if we don’t stop the planting of these monocultures? Summarized it was a well-thought trough article. Thank you for sharing your interesting knowledge.

    Impact of palm oil:
    https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/sumatra_a-very-invasive-oil/44201144

    Palm oil usage / solutions:
    https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/8-things-know-about-palm-oil

    Kind regards,
    Noémie Käser

  4. Dear Zurizmir Team
    I really like your article. In my opinion it is easy to understand and you gave good informations. The text is also good and easy structured. It is frustrating that humans destroy the world just because of their fun or their Lifestyle. I hope that more people will give attention to avoid Palm oil consumation.

    I would have enjoyed more Information about the production and the conditions for producing palm oil. But all over it is a very interessting article.

    Kind regards,
    Samantha

  5. Hello Zurizmir Palm Oil Team

    That’s a great article, it’s very frustating to know that Palm oil is so unhealthy and that it appears in so many products and we agree that we should change something. We have already heard About this Topic and also that it leads to Cancer. But to be honest, there are a lot of other dangerous Things that aren’t very good for the environement. A lot of people dont see the consequences that it can bring to the environement, because they dont know about it. It is frustrating to hear that we consume such a big amount yearly. We think it will increase even more, because of the growth of population. In our view people need to be informed more about it.

    Kind regards,
    Fabio & Christian

  6. Dear Zurizmir Team,

    Wow! I really like your post about palm oil. I have already heard about the problem \”huge consumption of palm oil\” but I didn\’t know what palm oil impact.

    The fact that palm oil is much more dangerous than everybody thinks is upsetting. All the examples you have mentioned in your article are pretty sad. Due the fact that I have heard about all these negative impacts I will try to avoid palm oil in my everyday life.

    Thank you very much!
    Kind regards
    Chantal S.

  7. Hi Zurizmir Palmoil Team

    Thank you for this interesting and informative contribution about palm oil. I really liked text passage about our worldwide consumption and the resulting damage to our enviroment. I think it´s insane that we are producing 66 tons of palm oil yearly. It´s a pitty that we keep on producing palm oil in this quantity. (and it´s getting even more!)

    I would have enjoyed to hear about some alternative products as well. I would be also very interested in reading about the issues with child labour and other human and land rights conflicts.

    Mabye you want to check out this website for more facts about palm oil:

    http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/top-10-facts-you-need-to-know-about-palm-oil/

    Kind regards
    Yasmin and Michelle

  8. Hi Zurizmir Team,

    I thought this was a really interesting article that gives a lot of information about the consequences that palm oil does to our environment. I was shoked to see how much palm oil we need yearly (66 tons) and how many acres (27 million) the plantations for the production of palm oil takes!
    I believe most people know that palm oil is included in a lot of products that we use/consume daily. However I think we are not aware of what consuquences our consume has to our environment. I think the main reason for that is that we are not directly confronted with it and we only see the plantages in the newspaper or on the tv.

    I would have liked to see some proposals on how we can change the immense use of the palm oil products. However thank you for this article and for making me aware of the consequences that our daily consumed products have!

    Kind regards,
    Cédric

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