Written by: Kristina Madjuga, July 2020
The fruits of the palm oil tree (Elaeis guineensis) is what is used to produce one of the most versatile oils on the market.
This edible oil doesn't oxidize at high temperatures, making it perfect for cooking. It also blends well with other oils, and doesn’t go rancid for long periods of time. It is also cheap to produce and gives a very high yield.
All these characteristics make it sound like palm oil is a magical product. However, there's nothing magical about the production process of palm oil.
And sadly, palm oil is becoming omnipresent in our lives. You can now find it in almost half of all packaged items, from the packaging itself to one of the ingredients, palm oil is everywhere. Candies, animal feed, laundry detergent, biscuits, you name it- palm oil might be there (BOS Australia, 2013).
Why is Palm Oil Bad for the Environment
85% of palm oil comes from Malaysia and Indonesia, where there are few deforestation and environmental protection policies. Large areas of forest are set on fire to clear out land for more palm oil plantations, destroying the ecosystem and killing biodiversity (Tullis, 2019).
According to WWF, about 300 football fields of forest are cleared every hour by palm oil companies (WWF, 2020). Not only do these fires destroy the habitats of many endangered species such as Orangutan, Sumatran rhino, and pygmy elephant, but they are also one of the world's worst contributors to global warming.
The Best Practices when it Comes to Palm Oil
Palm oil, however, can be grown sustainably without hurting either the environment or the employees. This is achieved by adopting NDPE policies, which imply no deforestation, no peat development, and no exploitation.
The best step, however, would be avoiding palm oil altogether. This is done by practicing sustainable consumer behaviour while buying groceries, cleaning supplies, or any other products that may contain palm oil by checking the ingredient label (WWF, 2020).
We here at Remix Snacks care about our environment, so our Bean Bark does not contain any palm oil! So you can enjoy a nutritious snack without worrying about any negative environmental impact!