Palm oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the fruit of the African oil palm tree Elaeis oleifera. This species of palm tree is farmed mainly in southeast asia and used in everyday foods, cosmetics, soaps and candles as a cheap bulk oil. Cookies, ice cream, toothpaste, soap; it’s so pervasive in the products we use that it’s almost impossible to avoid using it. The negative environmental impacts of this crop include carbon emissions, rainforest destruction and destabilization of rural communities. Palm oil is commonly used as a substitute for trans fats and many food manufacturers and fast-food chains have already made the switch. Is palm oil going to be "devil you don't know" that will satisfy the new requirements banning trans fats?
The average person does not have extra time in the day to analyze every ingredient on the shelf, but producers and manufacturers can lead by example.
Palm oil's low cost and quick production comes at a price.
Deforestation, climate change and species
diversity are at stake.