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SAY NO TO PALM OIL
SAY NO TO PALM OIL.
By Jade Ellis
What is Palm oil?
Palm oil is one of the world’s most popular edible vegetable oils, due to its low cost, lack of trans fats, long shelf life and wide availability. It is grown on the African oil palm tree. Oil palms can grow wherever there are copious amounts of rainfall and heat. Today palm oil is globally produced and grown throughout Africa, Asia, North and South America.
Palm oil appears in a massive amount of food and cosmetic products, as well as having high demands for its use in biofuels like biodiesel, which are set to grown in the nearby future. This poses a massive array of environmental issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation and endangering species native to lands where oil palms are grown and harvested. The deforestation of Indonesia is contributing to destroying the habitat and climate change.
Environmental Impacts of Palm oil
The Palm oil industry is heavily contributing to deforestation, also playing a large role in climate change. Climate change is becoming a significant problem due to deforestation for palm oil. Indonesia is the third highest greenhouse gas emitter in the world.
When forests are cleared to make room for oil palm plantations, the area is burned down. The burning down of these forests often involves burning the invaluable timber and remaining forest undergrowth, which emits large amounts of smoke into the atmosphere. Palm oil plantations have cleared some of the world’s most prized, carbon capturing forests.
Impact of palm oil on people
The palm oil industry has been connected to major human rights violations, including child labour in remote areas of Malaysia and Indonesia. This consists of children having to carry large loads of heavy fruit and weed fields, spending hours being bent over collecting fruit from the plantation floor. Cuts, bruises and heat exhaustion from climbing thorny oil palms are normal in these cases, and these children rarely receive pay for their efforts.
Palm Plantations are often promoted as a way of bringing growth and expansion to rural and poor regions of Borneo and Sumatra. These plantations do provide employment to many people in South East Asia. Although these plantations and the interest from the government in their economy, has lead indigenous land to be taken by corporations for their own financial benefit.
Plantations are destroying the land that local people depend on and communities are finding themselves having to become planation workers. Some barely have enough to survive being faced with poor working conditions. Indigenous communities become reliant on the palm oil industry for their survival.
Driving Animals to Extinction
Throughout the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra, many animals are injured, killed and displaced during deforestation. The palm oil development increases the availability of animals to wildlife smugglers and poachers who capture and sell animals as pets, sell them for medicinal purposes or kill them for their body parts.
Endangered species such as the Orang-utan, Borneo elephant and Sumatran tiger are being pushed closer to extinction. Orang-utans have been found buried alive, killed from machete attacks, guns and other weaponry. The deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades has killed over 50,000 orang-utans. This can happen after the animal enters a village or palm oil plantation in search of food, or during the deforestation process. If captured by poachers, they can be used for entertainment in wildlife tourism parks in Thailand and Bali. Mother Organ-utans are often killed and have their babies to be kept as pets or sold. The destruction of rainforests is also a major animal welfare crisis.
What products contains palm oil?
Palm oil is present in at least half of the items sold in most supermarkets – shampoo, margarine, ice cream, baked goods, cleaning products, and cosmetics just to name a few. Palm oil is often hidden on ingredient lists behind others, and sometimes simply listed as a ‘vegetable oil.’ It is important to know what names to look for on an ingredient list when avoiding palm oil.
Palm oil may be widely used, and low in trans-fat but that does not mean it is healthy. Palm oil is extremely high in saturated fat, which are fine consumed in moderation but if you consume a high amount, your LDL cholesterol levels will raise significantly. Palm oil is also heavily refined which gets rid of any good nutrients and minerals and makes it harder for our bodies to digest.
Palm oil from ‘sustainable sources’
Palm oil that comes from plantations transformed from forest and peatland areas are what we should be against. At the moment it is impossible to determine where palm oil comes from. It would be ideal for companies to stop trading from suppliers known to be involved in forest conversion.
Roundtable for sustainable palm oil (RSPO) was set up in 2001, in the hopes to establish clear, ethical and ecological standards for producing palm oil. A large amount of big growers signed up to the RSPO logo, but Greenpeace state that this standard is ‘not strong enough to prevent deforestation.’ RSPO’s standards do not ban deforestation or destruction of peatlands for the development of oil palm plantations.
This may actually create the illusion of sustainable palm oil, and justify the expansion of the palm oil industry. Sustainable palm oil has been put down for years from organisations who feel it is not solving any problems.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you Emiliano for your comment. In this blog we are referring more to oils, more so than butters and while we agree with you Shea is an excellent emollient for hair, it's consistency is more buttery and it is used more as a leave-in remedy to smooth hair texture. We have suggested Coconut oil as it helps slow down hair loss by penetrating deep into your hair shaft to prevent protein loss, which in turn prevents breakage. When applied to your scalp, it simultaneously moisturises and removes build-up around your hair follicles to encourage hair growth and is one of base oils always used in Ayurveda for hair treatments. As this post is more focused for hair and not for skin, the comedogenic scale applies to skin/pores and not hair follicles. Thank you again for your feedback.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Hello Zu, yes hair loss can be very stressful and this in turn amplifies the cause almost.. Perhaps with Covid, your system may have been depleted of nutrients and fighting the virus can take its toll on your immune system, so sometimes our hair and skin suffer when we have been ill. We really believe in oils for scalp massage as the best way to revive the growth and help regenerate the follicles. It may be also worth at looking at internal supplements and making sure you are getting enough of omega oils, perhaps plant based such as nuts and seeds in your diet. For external oil treatment, would recommend the Really Good Hair oil which we create with Brahmi, this herb is known to help bring the scalp back to health and improve growth. Biotin is also a good vitamin to take as a supplement to help with hair growth so do look into that. So hope these tips will be helpful for you.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?I, am very surprised that your article did not include Organic Shea Butter and that coconut oil, is your number one choice for hair growth and thickness. According to the comedogenic scale, coconut oil, has a rating of (4), on a scale from (0), to (5), on clogging your pores. Why would anyone put coconut oil, on their hair or skin knowing the pores will get clogged up. Shea Butter, on the other hand has a (0), rating on the comedogenic scale, which is great for dry hair and skin and won't clog up your pores.
- Which is the best oil for hair growth and thickness?Thank you for your very informative article. I suffered COVID in December, 2020, and in February I started experience extreme hair loss and all my hair jus falls like a person who is under going Chemo therapy. It's very depressing. Had to cut off all my hair and even the little that is left is falling off daily not sure what to do. Please suggest something.
- Carrot Oil for Face Hello :) You can use carrot oil only in small drops on your skin in the morning/during the day since it is highly potent. Carrot oil is rich in vitamins and is a very effective moisturiser. You can also mix a few drops of Carrot Oil with your favorite face cream. You can do that at least twice a week or include it in your daily skincare routine. Hope this helps.
- Carrot Oil for Face Can I use the carrot oil in the day time? Because I am using Vitamin c serum in the night. Please advise. Thanks