Palm Oil

What is Palm Oil?

Palm oil the most widely produced form of vegetable oil produced by the fruit of the African oil palm tree most commonly found in Borneo and Sumatra. It is found in many foods, cosmetics and various sundries that we use every day.

palm_oil_map

Why should we avoid eating foods or using products made with palm oil?

Palm oil is an introduced agricultural crop and is destroying the natural rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. When palm oil is not sustainably collected, the rainforest habitat is destroyed, and subsequently, many plant and animal species are affected.

Simply making the choice to avoid foods with palm oil, we can decrease the demand for increased palm oil harvesting, and reduce the need for company expansion, which will overall help preserve the rainforest habitats.

Why is the WAVE Foundation and Newport Aquarium worried about this issue?

By losing the Borneo and Sumatra rainforests alone, we would lose over 400 mammal species, over 1000 bird species, almost 400 reptiles, over 200 amphibians, almost 700 fish, and over 30,000 plant species. That is something that no one should want to see happen! So by increasing the awareness of this issue, we hope people will be more aware of their food and products that they use, and overall help us help these wonderful animals.

Is there sustainable palm oil that I should support instead?

Yes! It is known as “sustainable palm oil”, and is rainforest friendly and provides a steady income for the local farmers and better supports the economy and needs of the local people overall.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (the RSPO) is a group made up of social and government organizations, companies and businesses that set the standards for sustainable palm oil. Visit www.rspo.org for more information.