Palm Oil

Palm Oil though it sounds innocuous enough, it may conjure the image of tropical palm trees along the beach waving it the sun.

However this oil which is found in hundreds of processed foods and other household and personal care products, could be threatening your health, and also one of the worlds most endangered species, the orangutan.

A Palm oil Plantation

Facts about Palm Oil 

  • According to the Wildlife Fund, there are about 20 million hectares of abandoned land available to grow palm oil trees. Firms used to prefer clearing forests first to get double profit. One is by selling timber trees and the other is for the oil.
  • An estimated area equivalent to 300 football fields has been cleared every hour to make space for palm oil production.
  • Due to the palm oil plantation, Indonesia has the highest rate of deforestation in the world. Indonesia has managed to clear almost twice as much forest compared to southern America country in certain years.
  • Every third mammal in Indonesia that is listed under the endangered species, is due to deforestation and encroaching on their habitat.
  • South East Asia has been hugely affected due to fires used to destroy the rain forests. Sadly around 110,000 people die prematurely each year because of this toxic air pollution.
  • One of the primary reasons palm oil was so massively cultivated is because it provides up to 10 times more oil per unit compared to Soya beans and sunflower.
  • New studies suggest that the Malaysian and Indonesian rainforest will be destroyed by the year 2022.
  • Due to the massive deforestation for creating space for palm oil plantation there are many animal species that are on the verge of becoming extinct.
  • Some of the endangered animals include: Sun Bear, Sumatra Tiger, Gibbon, Pygmy Elephant, Asian Rhinoceros, Malayan Tapir, Proboscis and many more.
  • Over 50 Orangutans are killed every week because of deforestation. Their homes are destroyed and they are are burnt to death. This would have to be one of the saddest facts about palm oil.
  • In the past 10 plus years the Orangutan population has decreased by at least 50% as a result of deforestation.
GUDKOV ANDREY/Shutterstock Portrait of a female orangutan with a baby in the wild. Indonesia. The island of Kalimantan (Borneo)

Palm Oil-Derived Ingredients

This is a list of other names for palm oil-derived ingredients:

  • PKO – Palm Kernel Oil
  • PKO fractionations: Palm Kernel Stearin (PKs); Palm Kernel Olein (PKOo)
  • PHPKO – Partially hydrogenated Palm Oil
  • FP(K)O – Fractionated Palm Oil
  • OPKO – Organic Palm Kernel Oil
  • Palmitate – Vitamin A or Asorbyl Palmitate (NOTE: Vitamin A Palmitate is a very common ingredient in breakfast cereals and we have confirmed 100% of the samples we’ve investigated to be derived from palm oil)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulphate (Can also be from coconut)
  • Palmate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphates (can also be from ricinus oil)
  • Sodium dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS)
  • Elaeis Guineensis
  • Glyceryl Stearate
  • Stearic Acid
  • Chemicals which contain palm oil
  • Steareth -2
  • Steareth -20
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (coconut and/or palm)
  • Hydrated palm glycerides
  • Sodium isostearoyl lactylaye (derived from vegetable stearic acid)
  • Cetyl palmitate and octyl palmitate (names with palmitate at the end are usually derived from palm oil, but as in the case of Vitamin A Palmitate, very rarely a company will use a different vegetable oil)

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