Fixing the damage done by our consumerism

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

Palm Oil

Why has palm oil become the big bogey of western products?

Well it’s not because we’re harmed by it; it’s because in order to satiate the huge demand for this product vast tracts of native forests are being felled in equatorial countries which many of the great apes call home.

OrangatanBabies

The masks are worn to protect these babies from human disease

Source Wikipedia: “Palm oil is a common cooking ingredient in the tropical belt of Africa, Southeast Asia and parts of Brazil. Its use in the commercial food industry in other parts of the world is buoyed by its lower cost. … “

Why do manufacturers use palm oil?

In search of profits, companies producing a range of consumer products base their ingredients on the lowest possible cost. Palm oil has been shown to be a very useful product because it remains close to a solid at room temperature. This property makes it useful as a means of holding other ingredients together, and for ease of packaging.

Consequently manufacturers of the following products may use it in:

Dairy Products:
  • Most Butters and Margarines so check labels before purchasing
Candy and Snacks:
  • Rolo’s by Hershey
  • Skittles
  • Nestle Chocolate products
  • Mars Chocolate products
  • Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread
Personal Care Items:

Keep in mind that many companies have Palm free versions (according to labels) so check labels thoroughly!

  • Some organic ‘natural soaps’
  • Dove lotions and soaps
  • Aveeno Daily Moisturizers
  • Nivea Original
  • Oil of Olay
  • Vaseline
  • Pearl Probiotics
Food Items:
  • Skippy peanut butter
  • Many Granola Bars (check the ingredients)
  • Chocolate Chip Granola Bar
  • Cluster Crunch Cereal
  • Thin Crust Pizza (check the ingredients)
  • Flatbread Pizza
  • Chocolaty Nougat Bar with Peanuts and Caramel
  • Honey Mustard Pretzel Sticks
  • Milk Chocolaty Delight Bar
  • NutriCrunch Chocolates

Hidden sources of Palm Oil

Palm oil is called many things other than Palm Oil: Unmask Palm Oil is the Australasian campaign for mandatory palm oil labelling on all products. Currently palm oil can be labelled as any one of 200 different scientific names making it impossible for consumers to not buy palm oil.

See more at: Unmask Palm Oil

In New Zealand where Unmask Palm Oil is based, the current Government refuses to consider changing its policy to expand the ingredients list where another product of combined ingredients includes palm oil products. However, the campaign has enlisted the support of opposition parties such as the Greens, New Zealand First and the Maori Party. …Unmask Palm Oil recently presented a petition of 7,500 signatures to the New Zealand parliament.

Plight of the Orangutan

Source Wikipedia: “The use of palm oil in food products has attracted the concern of environmental activist groups; the high oil yield of the trees, attractive to profit-driven investors, has led to the clearing of forests in parts of Indonesia in order to make space for oil-palm monoculture. This has resulted in significant acreage losses of the natural habitat of the orangutan, of which both species are endangered; one species in particular, the Sumatran orangutan, has been listed as “critically endangered.”

For an overview of what one Orangutan rescue mission is up to, take a look at this video:

What can you do to help?

Check the ingredients on the products you use regularly and change brands to one with out Palm Oil. When consumers (that’s us) stop buying products, manufacturers stop making them.

Write or email your politicians and put the case for reduced or eliminated use of pal oil on a large scale. If enough people express their views on any subject, politicians become uncomfortable and start listening.

Donate to a charity supporting conservation of the remaining populations of orangutans and other apes, such as The Orangutan Project.

By Heather Sylvawood, Amazon Author

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