CAN PALM OIL BE SUSTAINABLE?
Palm oil is one of the most widely produced edible oils in the world, used in so many products from chocolate and chips to cosmetics, from household cleaning products to pet foods and much more. But unless you have been living under a rock you will know the production of palm oil is causing extreme deforestation, which has had a huge impact on endangered species and to the local environment.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) eighty seven per cent of the plantations are concentrated in Malaysia and Indonesia, where there is less regulation and more illegal logging.
Because of the devastation Palm oil production was causing, the WWF set up the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2004, with industry partners and social-environmental organisations. Later the RSPO certified products containing sustainably grown palm oil. Many of the biggest manufacturers are members of the RSPO and claim their palm oil comes from sustainable sources. But are they really using sustainable palm oil?
Why do I ask this?
Well, because it can be difficult to tell which products contain palm oil. Did you know there are no standards in place in Australia to state the use of palm oil in the ingredients. Generic labelling like "vegetable oil" can be listed on product packaging making it difficult for consumers to differentiate between products with or without palm oil.
So, what do we do?
We need RSPO-member companies to label products with palm oil clearly. Melbourne Zoos are part of a movement in Australia pushing for mandatory labelling of palm oil. Zoos Victoria estimates 1,000 orangutans die each year as a result of their habitat being destroyed through unsustainable palm oil production. The best thing we could do is to buy products that contain sustainable palm oil by looking for the CSPO logo (meaning Certified Sustainable Palm Oil).
Some of the products containing sustainable palm oil are:
Woolworths homebrand donuts
Billie Goat Soap
Coles Green Choice Laundry Products and Detergents
Doves Farm Products
Green and Blacks Chocolate
Virgin Red Palm Oil
Also, look for palm oil free products.
Hope this helps when looking for sustainable palm oil or palm oil free products.
Attracta & the earthly passion team