Why is palm oil bad? And is boycotting it the answer?

You may also like...

16 Responses

  1. Wow this is an incredibly thorough and thoughtful post about all the problems with palm oil. I appreciate how you don’t just leave us with a feeling of despair over the situation, but give constructive suggestions for what we can do to affect change and find alternatives.

  2. Canilla says:

    Such an informative read. I already avoid palm oil but this gives me even more reasons to do so. And more info to share with family and friends ! I will bookmark it to come back to it if I need to refresh my memory 🙂

  3. I try to boycott palm oil where-ever I can. I make as much of my own food from scratch as I can, use minimal toiletries and no cosmetics but I know it is still in products I buy/use. I do regularly contact manufacturers about palm oil yet all I ever really get back is corporate blurb and a smug sentence telling me it’s all OK as the palm oil they use is sustainable – but it can’t all be sustainable and I am unsure exactly what THEY mean by sustainable . I also know that the plantations are both vital for giving jobs to the local community and the land cannot simply be switched back to rainforest. In an ideal world I would see all deforestation for agriculture stopped outright (and forests are not just cleared for palm oil) and a complete cleaning up of the whole industry, bringing in fair working conditions etc. plus a switch back to where everyone is less reliant on processed food, excessive amounts of toiletries etc etc. I know that is as likely to happen as me getting a reply from a big company saying that their palm oil comes from recently deforested forest so I would at moment settle for some transparent information on where any palm oil comes from and that any that comes my way is truly sustainable ie from well established plantations, reduced pesticide use or ideally organic, fair working conditions etc. For the future of the rainforests and our planet we need a massive switch in the entire way we lead our lives with a much deeper understanding of how everything we do has far reaching effects on the planet.

    • Emma says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Rosie. I tend to agree that what we hope and think should happen is unlikely, for rainforests and for the majority of people’s habits. But we do need big change in this and many other industries to recover the planet and ensure its healthy future.

  4. Tegan says:

    Wow, this is a fantastic info-packed read. Thank you.

    I am concerned about the awful impacts of palm oil production, but I have not been able to bring myself to try to boycott it, as it is just so everywhere. I also worry that if everyone did boycott it, the companies would just use another crop for oil which would take even more land and clear even more forest habitat.

    As I see it, the problem is not palm oil per se, but deforestation, and unsustainable business practices and human rights violations and habitat destruction. Those will surely happen with another cash crop if not palm. So we should try to tackle this at its root. Definitely agree we should be contacting the companies about this, in huge numbers so they cannot ignore! And support the NGOs you mention which are doing great work to track what’s actually going on (beyond corporate pledges!) and driving better action.

    Also, I had no idea Indonesia is the third biggest emitter thanks to this. Wow.

    Thanks again for an excellent post!

    • Emma says:

      Thanks for your feedback Tegan. Yes, the issues stem from companies being able to bribe governments and having no care for anything and anyone except making money. Changing that will change many things in the world. I hope our combined action is enough to force those changes.

  5. My goodness! What an amazing post! I learnt something in the first two lines. There was me thinking that I was avoiding palm oil by choosing my peanut butter carefully. But no! This is just scary! Thank you for educating me today!

  6. This is such a great and super informative post! I have one very similar and it’s great to see so many people spreading such an important message 🧡

    My personal opinion is definitely to boycott. Yes, other oils that would replace it could potentially cause just as much land destruction to produce a similar quantity, but if we choose to consume wholesome diets and use organic natural products than it is easy to avoid both!

    Obviously that isn’t realistic for everyone, so in that case choosing the sustainable alternative is much better 🙌🏼 Trying our best is what’s most important 🌟

    • Emma says:

      Hi Kate, thanks for your feedback. I love your post about palm-oil free products in so many categories, it was very helpful to link to. You must’ve done so much research!
      I agree with you that choosing more natural products (and less stuff) and making much more ourselves is always going to be better. Hopefully more and more people can see the value in that, or make informed choices that don’t harm the planet or its inhabitants.

  7. Amanda says:

    This is a really thorough blog post, thank you! I’ll be saving this for reference 🙂

  8. Clive says:

    Thanks Emma. This is a very thorough reference about issues around palm oil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: