Palm Oil: The 30 Second Lowdown
Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet. It’s found in half of all packaged products you’ll find in your local supermarket. Why? It’s super high yield and efficient production process, make it one of the cheapest oils to buy. It’s also semi-solid at room temperature, so super easy to use in many products as diverse as from bread to lipstick. For all you health nuts who are wondering; it contains no positive nutritional value.
What’s the problem? Palm oil is wreaking havoc with our rainforests, endangering key animal species and damaging indigenous populations.
The industry has grown at such a seismic rate that it has destroyed some of the globe’s most vital and sensitive habitats. Most palm oil is sourced from Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests, with Latin America and African jungles now huge hotspots, too. The uncontrolled clearing of these forests has led to widespread deforestation.
What does this mean? The habitats of orangutans and Sumatran tigers are being destroyed, and the populations have halved. Both are now critically endangered species. The deforestation of Borneo’s rainforests alone has led to the loss of over 150,000 orangutans in 16 years. * It is widely thought that just 400 Sumatran Tigers now live in the wild, a decline from over 1,000 in 1978. Read more here.
Palm Oil: The 30 Second Lowdown
• Shockingly, demand for palm oil has rocketed and is still on the catastrophic rise. It has doubled over the last ten years, and global demand is expected to double again by 2030 and triple by 2050.
• 80% of orangutan habitats have been destroyed over the last 20 years as a direct result of palm oil production. If this continues they could face extinction in our lifetime.
• More than 20 million people depend on Indonesia’s rainforests. Numerous indigenous communities have lost their land to palm oil plantations.
What’s palm oil in and why?
Lipstick and Skincare Palm oil holds pigment and colour well, doesn’t melt at high temperatures, has a smooth application, and is tasteless.
Shampoo Palm oil acts as a conditioning agent in shampoos to moisturize hair.
Soap Palm oil removes both oil and dirt from skin and moisturizes at the same time.
Packaged bread Palm oil is solid at room temperature, easy to bake with and inexpensive.
Chocolate Palm oil creates a smooth, shiny looking bar and helps prevent melting.
Margarine Palm oil stays solid at room temperature and is free from trans-fats.
Biscuits Palm oil gives biscuits and cakes a creamy texture.
Perk!er are proudly palm oil free
Why? It’s the safest way to ensure we don’t contribute to deforestation – harming both wildlife and indigenous populations. We want our planet to stay healthy, happy and beautiful.
Sure, there’s been a glut of initiatives to try and rectify the problem. Take Greenpeace International & WWF’s certification schemes such as RSPO and Green Palm labels as key examples. But, to cut to the chase, nothing is reversing the drastic deforestation.
Greenpeace’s report in 2018 entitled ‘Moment of Truth- time for brands to come clean about their links to forest destruction for palm oil’ concluded that the action promised to be made in 2010 by members of the CGF (Consumer Goods Forum) to clean up their supply chains by 2020 had largely failed to be implemented by the majority of companies.
With that in mind, we just don’t believe any palm oil can realistically be produced sustainably.
We need to all work together to get palm oil savvy. It’s not always as obvious as it seems. Did you have any idea that palm oil production is also linked to the increasing demand for biofuels? (that’s any renewable substitute for a fossil fuel) So, essentially, if you’re trying to go green in your car you may still be harming the planet.
The Label Look Out: Palm oil can be hidden
Palm oil is contained in all the following ingredients:
- Palm Kernel
- Palm Kernel Oil
- Palm Fruit Oil
- Stearic Acid
- Elaeis Guineensis
- Palmitic Acid
- Palm Stearine
- Palmitoyl Oxostearamide
- Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium Kernelate
- Sodium Palm Kernelate
- Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate
- Hyrated Palm Glycerides
- Etyl Palmitate
- Octyl Palmitate
- Palmityl Alcohol