Can Palm Oil Really Be Sustainable?

Insightful piece, thanks

Little Green Seedling

High-yielding and easy to grow, palm oil has become the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. In developed countries, it’s found in up to 50% of household products – these include packaged and processed foods, toiletries, cleaning products and cosmetics.

In recent years, palm oil has become a very controversial topic. Most people are now aware of the related environmental issues, which include the destruction of vast swathes of rainforest for palm oil plantations and the consequent habitat destruction of creatures like the orang-utan and Sumatran tiger. In addition, the burning of these forests releases large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, as does draining peat lands for plantations. This has made Indonesia, which is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, the third-greatest emitter of greenhouse gases after the USA and China.

The rights of indigenous people who live in the rainforest are also infringed upon due…

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