Hi everyone, Clare here from The Refillery Eco Store in Gorey. I am continuing our monthly blog posts with Love Gorey to share tips and ideas on how we can all live a more sustainable lifestyle with simple changes!
I hope you find our blogs useful! I would be delighted to hear any feedback you have on your progress!
Clare from the Refillery here again for our regular monthly Eco-Blog thanks to @Love-Gorey.
This month we will be having a look at the pros and cons of Palm oil.
Palm oil is used widely in the food, cosmetics, Bio-fuel industries to name a few. Because of its low production cost and highly efficient growth to land use ratio, it is the preferred vegetable oil product by many producers. Annually, it can produce 4 tonnes of oil per hectare compared to the next highest yielding vegetable oil, Rapeseed, which produces 0.75 tonnes per hectare annually. It has certain characteristics that make it an attractive ingredient for the food industry. It has a high solid fat content which reduces the need for hydrogenation and its oxidative stability makes it less susceptible to becoming rancid, giving it a long shelf life.
You will find palm oil in many everyday products, such as Chocolate, Bread, Biscuits, Cakes, Pasta and is used in the frying of Crisps and Chips. It can be found in Soaps, Cosmetics and even in infant formula. World wide it accounts for 33% of all global oils produced.
Its popularity began in the 1960s as the association between consuming excessive amounts of butter and increased risk of heart disease was established. The subsequent years saw the food industry scramble to replace butter with a healthier alternative. Palm oil was seen as a fitting substitute because it was free from trans-fatty acids and therefore better for your heart.
Its popularity world wide has contributed to deforestation on a truly massive scale, devastating wildlife habitats, pushing important ecological systems to the point of collapse. Forests are carbon sponges and without them this increases greenhouse emmissions which are heating up our planet. Palm oil has lead to exploitation, slavery and death to some of the populations harvesting it.
It’s the overuse that has created a huge demand for palm oil and consequently the destruction of the lungs of the planet.
The RSPO (Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil) certification body was set up to regulate the palm oil industry in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of “Sustainable” Palm oil products through global standards and “stakeholder governance”. As usual in scenarios where self regulation is required, it hasn’t been an altogether nailed on success. The “certified” sustainable palm oil may not always be from certified sources, but the RSPO say they are doing all they can to combat this type of fraud.
So, in conclusion, Palm oil has its place, but we have to reduce our demand for it. By reducing our processed food intake, by using Palm free soaps and shampoos and consciously purchasing products listed using “Sustainable Palm Oil” we can make a difference.
Go Palm free at The Refillery Gorey
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for reading.
Clare @The Refillery
There are so many innovative, sustainable alternatives out there now, and some have been around for years. We need to get back to basics just like our parents and grandparents did. Eco Refill shops and health stores are at the forefront of this and will always be the first to showcase new sustainable products. They are evolving all the time.
So, this month, make one small change, buy a reusable coffee cup or water bottle and try not to buy plastic. It’s harder than you think.
Thanks for Reading,
Clare at The Refillery