Palm Oil

Saranya Patel, Age 11

                  How palm oil affects the rainforest 

Saranya Patel, Age 11 

Yesterday, I went to my cousin’s house for a sleepover. My cousin kept telling me a bunch of random facts somehow all tying back up to animals and one of them was really interesting to me. 

What is palm oil? 

Palm oil is in almost every object or food there is. I guarantee if you were to go around in your house you would find at least one item that has palm oil in it. I am 1000% sure that if I went into everyone in my family’s house I could find at least one item that contains palm oil. 

Fun fact-Around 66 million tonnes of palm oil are sold every year!

So what’s the deal with palm oil? Is it bad or good?

Environment wise, palm oil is SUPER bad! Palm oil destroyed the rainforest and most of the orangutan’s habitats. Palm oil grows in tropical rainforests, and there has been widespread clearing of forests in order to make way for plantations. The orangutan’s habitats are being ruined and they Critically Endangered! Orangutans live in trees so when they cut down the trees to make the plantations you cut down their houses so they have nowhere to live. 

Some brands who use palm oil:

Hershey, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Mars, General Mills, Heinz, Nestlé, and PepsiCo

What can I do?

Now I am not going to tell you to stop using things with palm oil because then it would be hard to use or eat chocolate, ice cream, cookies, soap, shampoo, detergent, packaged bread. But for example, if you are going to buy ice cream try to get something without palm oil like ben and Jerrys’ instead of Ice cream for example Wall’s Soft Scoop. But I am really sad to tell you that the amazing Oreos have Palm oil 🙁

Now if you are a lazy human being like most of us, there are some apps to help track palm oil if you are interested. The link below has some information below about an app to detect palm oil instead of going through the whole list to find one ingredient that can be marked as many things.

So like I said before palm oil can be listed as many different things such as  Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Glyceryl, and a lot more that I am not going to put because I don’t know how to say most of the other ingredients.

Palm oil is good for us but bad for the environment. But you can make compromises that aren’t that bad. 


If you want to learn more about orangutans click the link below:

Orangutan | Species


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