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Palm oil is on shelves everywhere! See other names for PO
3 years ago

The Heavy Price of Palm Oil

What is palm oil?

Palm oil is an extremely popular vegetable oil derived from pulping the fruit of oil palms native to Africa. Used in a wide array of packaged foods, baked goods, cosmetics and other products, palm oil touches our lives every time we make a trip to the supermarket.

What’s the problem with palm oil?

Demand is increasing. In the last decade, palm oil imports have risen nearly 500% in the US alone. The dramatic and growing demand for this crop is now one of the leading causes of rainforest destruction worldwide. Vast areas of pristine rainforest are destroyed every year in order to make way for oil palm plantations.

Over 50,000 orangutans have died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil production in the last 20 years. By purchasing products made with palm oil, American consumers are being made into unwitting accomplices in the extinction of the orangutan.

Unchecked palm oil production is also responsible for widespread human rights violations and the release of significant quantities of carbon pollution into the atmosphere.

We have a choice; orangutans don't.

We have a choice; orangutans don’t.

What can be done?

Environmental groups are asking snack food companies to ensure that the palm oil they use has not resulted in deforestation and habitat destruction. To do this, supply chain transparency and rigorous safeguards are necessary.

Other oils are available – oils that have been produced responsibly and ethically. Though all edible oils have an environmental footprint, it is possible to produce them sustainably.

The RSPO and sustainable palm oil

Be wary of “RSPO certified” or “Green Palm” labels. Formed in 2004, the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) allows “certified sustainable” palm oil producers to destroy rainforests. According to the Rainforest Action Network, responsible palm oil is produced without contributing to rainforest or peatland destruction, species extinction, greenhouse gas emissions or human rights abuses.

Labeling palm oil

Because of inadequate standards, palm oil can be labeled under many names, including:

Vegetable Oil
Vegetable Fat
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (in almost everything that foams)
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaD
Palm Kernel
Palm Oil Kernel
Palm Fruit Oil
Glyceryl Stearate
Stearic Acid
Elaeis Guineensis
Palmitic Acid
Palm Stearine
Palmitoyl oxostearamide
Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3
Steareth -2
Steareth -20
Sodium Kernelate
Sodium Palm Kernelate
Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate
Hyrated Palm Glycerides
Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylaye
Cetyl Palmitate
Octyl Palmitate
Cetyl Alcohol
Palmityl Alchohol

What can I do?

As demand for palm oil continues to increase, the stakes will only get higher. More orangutans and other animals will die. More habitats will be destroyed. Consumers can educate themselves and become more conscious of the choices they make. It’s an uphill battle, but can only start with awareness. Reposted from:

3 years ago


I went to an Asian store tonight and I was shocked when I saw how many items had Palm Oil in them! 

3 years ago

Thanks for this Julie. I will copy this to an information sheet to put in the reception area at the Sanctuary. It will help get the message out.

3 years ago

It's unbelievably shocking how palm oil can be disguised under so many names!!  I will take note and make sure that I do not buy anything with these ingredients in them!  Thank you Julie for this informative and important post x

3 years ago

Here in Canada every margarine for sale has Palm oil in it.  Those of us that cannot digest butter now have nothing to spread on our bread, make mashed potatoes with etc.  Not good.  The government decided to eliminate trans fats from margarine and so the industry now uses palm oil instead.

3 years ago

All margarine has palm oil in it? Does anyone know of other products that can replace the margarine? Any other name brands, idea's? That's a lot of palm oil! 

Sadly, palm oil is everywhere... Keep checking labels and PLEASE everyone, avoid using palm oil!

3 years ago

What Is the Price of Palm Oil? IS IT TO LATE? Can We Really Make A Difference?

 Julie - 22 hours ago - 
The palm oil industry has grown dramatically over the past few decades and palm oil now accounts for a quarter of global vegetable oil consumption and nearly 60% of the global trade in vegetable oils. In the U.S. alone, palm oil imports have jumped 485%
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