The Controversial Palm Oil.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Colombia produce about 90 percent of global supply of the oil.

The oil of the palm tree produces high-quality oil used

primarily for cooking in developing countries.

In addition,  some food products, detergents, cosmetics and, to a small extent, biofuel contain the oil.

India and China import about 90 per cent of all palm tree oil produce.

It is a small ingredient in the U.S. diet, but more than half of all packaged products Americans consume contain palm oil—it’s found in lipstick, soaps, detergents and even ice cream.

Palm tree oil is a very productive crop. The Palm trees produce new fruits every two weeks.

Moreover, the oil offers a far greater yield at a lower cost of production than other vegetable oils.[1]

Global production of and demand for this oil is increasing rapidly. Plantations are spreading across Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Effects & Deforestation.

Sadly, such expansion comes at the expense of tropical forests.

They form critical habitats for many endangered species, such as orangutans. The name Orangutan means “man of the forest” in the Malay language).

It also impacts Sumatran Rhinos and Sumatran Tigers.

Read the heart-wrenching story of “Hope”, an orangutan who was stabbed, blinded, shot 74 times by local farmers in Indonesia. When mother and baby were found, they were rushed to a veterinary clinic.

The baby ultimately died. All in the name of an oil. [2]

Fortunately, some companies “grow” palm oil in labs instead of in the rain forest. “While palm oil production today requires a lot of land, growing big trees, and hacking down fruits to squeeze out oil and then refine it into a usable ingredient, a startup company uses a fermentation process similar to brewing beer—or producing other biotech products such as cultured meat. The yeast grows in steel tanks, and the new oil grows in the cells of the yeast.” [read more].

Resources:

[1] worldwildlife.org

[2] nytimes.com

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