The Palm Oil Debate
Before we start, I would just like to make the observation that there are a lot of articles and blog posts on this subject. They are often written by those with the most to gain from one side of the debate.
On one side, you will find companies that offer an alternative to palm oil. Their message is always "palm oil is bad! (p.s. buy our product instead)".
On the other side, you have those that suggest there are no problems with palm oil production and "what's all the fuss about? Keep buying our products".
I heard a smart and amusing saying years ago, which compares every situation to a slice of bread:
"No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides!"
My approach to writing this article is just that. I will try to address both the good and the bad, albeit simplified, and offer my personal opinion at the end. But is just my opinion :)
WHAT IS PALM OIL?
Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil-based food and product additive on the planet. Originally native to Africa, one crop of this tropical oil can produce up to one-third the amount of oil of other conventional vegetable oils - including coconut oil, corn oil, rapeseed oil and olive oil.
Also, palm oil crops require fewer pesticides and chemical fertilisers, making palm oil a clean, green, sustainable, and efficient crop.
WHAT IS PALM OIL USED FOR?
Palm oil is a natural vegetable oil which can be found in almost 50 per cent of the processed foods and products you purchase in your supermarket. This includes food, shampoo, soap, bread, cooking oil, lipstick and more.
However, the environmental impact of palm kernel oil continues to be a hot topic of debate. Since palm oil is one of the natural ingredients we use in some of our authentic French soaps, we thought we would address these concerns.
WHAT IS THE CONCERN WITH PALM OIL?
When farmed with integrity, palm oil is a far more sustainable crop than all other vegetable oils. However, farmers throughout many areas of Indonesia and Malaysia have been legally and illegally burning rainforests to plant their palm oil crops.
This irresponsible clearing contributes to climate change by the release of toxic greenhouse emissions, displacing both wildlife, endangered species and indigenous families.
Although native to Africa, due to the rampant clearing of African oil palm trees, Malaysia and Indonesia now produce over 85% of the world's supply of palm oil.