Food - Drink
The Real Reason Palm Oil Is Rooted In Controversy
The type of oil you use in the kitchen might be an afterthought; maybe you use olive oil, vegetable oil, or avocado oil, but you probably don’t use palm oil. You may have heard vague warnings about palm oil, but here’s the truth about the risks, both personal and worldwide, of palm oil consumption and production.
Palm oil provokes a slew of negative warnings by health professionals, including an increased risk of cancer. Even if you’re not using palm oil to cook, the substance has permeated our homes, hiding in an estimated 50% of packaged foods and items such as cosmetics, toothpaste, and hair products.
Environmentally, the palm oil industry is a significant contributor to climate change and deforestation; converting land for an oil palm tree plantation can release up to 100 times more greenhouse gasses than standard forest fires. The process displaces indigenous wildlife populations, destroys natural habitats, and exploits workers and child labor.
However, as horrible as it may sound for your health and the environment, the alternatives may be worse. In actuality, oil palm trees produce much more oil per acre than other types of oil and require less fertilizer and pesticide to maintain; environmentally sustainable alternatives include growing oil palm trees on already-deforested land to protect forests and reduce pollution.