Palm Oil Taking Over


Skye Roughen, Staff Writer

Have you ever cooked or applied makeup in your life? If you have, you have most likely used products with palm oil. Palm oil is a contributor to many widespread issues like deforestation and climate change. 

Palm oil is vastly important to our industries now. Palm oil produces a great deal of oil efficiently, which is distributed to the food, beauty, and bio fuel industry. 

 It is used for baking as it gives food a creamy texture since it has a semi-solid form and it has no effect on the taste of the bakers food. You can find it in some of your favorite foods like chocolate, pizza, instant noodles, cookies, and packaged bread. 

According to Our World in Data, Thailand, Colombia, Nigeria, Guatemala, and Ecuador are currently looking into using palm oil to power cars. Having 30% of your fuel come from palm oil can help your car move more efficiently.

Palm oil even helps create things like make up and other cosmetics that people use around the world. According to an article made by Tree Hugger, items like mascara, foundation, concealer, lipstick, and pressed eyeshadows all use palm oil. 

Our immense use of these products harms our tropical ecosystems, and the more we continue to use palm oil, the greater the problem will get.

Harvesting palm oil also causes lots of deforestation. Oil palm fruits are taken from their trees and processed, turning them into the oil that is used. 2% of deforestation around the world is caused by palm oil. 

As a result of this deforestation,animals living in these ecosystems are losing their homes. According to the WWF, Orangutans, Sumatran Elephants, and Sumatran Rhinos are having their habitats demolished illegally, to the extent that they have become endangered. These species’ lives and homes are threatened every day to satisfy our wants for palm oil.

With deforestation comes global warming. Conserve Energy Future writes that cutting down forests to create a place to grow palm oil is causing the rate of the carbon in our air to rise. Our trees help filter carbon into oxygen, and with fewer and fewer trees we have less and less oxygen in the air. Increase in carbon also raises temperatures, heating up the planet with each tree cut down.

There are alternatives to the widespread use of palm oil. Is that a sacrifice you’re ready to make? Cut down your use of palm oil products by checking if they are harvested by a sustainable palm oil company. You could even take the time out of your day to write to companies that are using palm oil. Keep our world healthy and take palm oil out of your everyday life.