Last Sunday I stumbled on a horrifying tv story about so called sustainable palm oil plantations, the Indonesian Government’s lack of interest and the manufacturers using palm oil in their food and pretending they aren’t doing anything unsustainable. It was so appalling I thought more people would like to know.
Palm oil is a seed crop grown in Indonesia and Malaysia and used in many food industries, chocolates, biscuits, crackers, sweets, frozen meals, soap and cosmetics. Orangatans live in the forests surrounding planations (mainly in Borneo and Sumutra) and many forests are now being burned and re-planted so more palm oil can be grown.
The orangutan’s natural habitat is being destroyed, they are being pushed further into the forest, trapped into small patches of forest with nowhere to go. Plantation works are also killing animals (quite horrifically and cruelly) if you read some websites like born to be wild. These precious creatures are having their habitat ruined so we can eat something.
So called sustainable plantations are in fact using the orangutan’s forest and planting in areas that are supposed to be protected. The Indonesian Government was given co-ordinates of the illegal planting yet did nothing meanwhile the orangatan is becoming more vulnerable and more are being orphaned daily or wathcing their mothers be hacked to death or burnt alive.
Many company’s are reported to belong to the World Sustainable Palm oil group but if there is no enforcing of the laws how does anyone know their oil is sustainable?
“Palm oil is now the single greatest threat to the survival of orangutans in the wild. By not being given the opportunity to choose alternatives, consumers are unwitting participants in the genocide of a great ape,” says Lone Droscher-Nielsen, the Danish conservationist who has dedicated her life to saving the orangutans
Read BBC UK study and questions of major food suppliers and supermarkets. Find out how much palm oil they are using and what are doing to find more sustainable sources.
Demand from suppliers the non-destructive palm oil. And when you are shopping try and read the label. Under NZ food standards it is sufficient to have vegetable oil in the list of ingredients on the packet, even though the product contains palm oil.
As a rule of thumb says Orangatan Survival , if the saturated fat content is about 50%, there is a good chance that the vegetable oil will in fact be palm oil.
THE GOOD NEWS – it’s Easter and chocloate time: What to buy!
“Lindt Gold Bunnies are confirmed as palm oil free. Cadbury has also confirmed that its dairy milk Easter range is palm oil free despite the packaging indicating the chocolate contains vegetable fat. Apparently this was printed before the company made the decision to revert to the palm oil free recipe last year. Orangatan Survival suggest sticking to the plain dairy milk eggs as fillings often contain palm oil.