Kermit was right. It’s not easy being green. The palm-oil industry aims to keep it that way by hiding rainforest-destroying ingredients in nearly half the packaged goods we buy.
Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has just released an infographic that shows why avoiding unsustainable palm oil is hard – and why it is essential. We would not cut our own lungs out, but every day we humans slash the planet’s in order to provide palm oil for cookies, crackers, soaps, lipstick, and a whole lot more.
RAN’s Palm Oil Factsheet (click on the graphic below) singles out three countries as the source of 85 percent of the palm oil that ends up on our shelves: Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. It also points to Cargill, which “trades a quarter (25%) of the world’s palm oil and is the largest importer of palm oil into the United States.” The impact of all this unsustainable palm-oil production is loss of biodiversity, destruction of the livelihoods of forest communities, and an increase in CO2.
Palm oil is such a common ingredient it is difficult to avoid. Even the Girl Scouts are selling rainforest-destroying cookies, though a couple of teens are trying to persuade them to get out of the business.
We need to ask more questions and stop contributing to environmental destruction with the products we buy. Together we can pressure companies to clean up their act and behave responsibly. We have a planet to save.
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Photo frome_rabin via Flickr Creative Commons
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