The other day I tweeted about how palm oil contributes to the destruction of the rainforests. I only realized this after doing some websurfing and eventually landing on a Wikipedia entry about palm oil’s environmental impact. Well, I have since been informed that this is true, but that had I done a little more research, I would have discovered that there are several forces out there working towards providing certification of palm oil as a sustainable resource. Some links:
- Can “Sustainable” Palm Oil Slow Deforestation
- Malaysian Palm Oil Industry Puts Sustainability in the Spotlight
- Retailers Shun Sustainable Palm Oil
The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil provides a type of certification for palm oil and companies can go through RSPO to acquire sustainably-produced oil. From their website:
In response to the urgent and pressing global call for sustainably produced palm oil, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was formed in 2004 with the objective of promoting the growth and use of sustainable oil palm products through credible global standards and engagement of stakeholders.
Interestingly, according to a few of the articles mentioned above, only 1% of the Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) has been purchased. My uneducated guess about that is likely cost.
On a slight tangent, I thought this article was interesting, saying that because palm oil is often found in biodiesel, we may be contributing to deforestation by using biodiesel fuel. Crazy, eh?
My takeaway is that I’m just going to look at ingredients and try to buy products that are made of sustainable ingredients. I’ll just have to do the best I can!
Thanks to my good friend Delara for pointing me in the right direction on this one!