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Palm Oil and Deforestation

The demand for palm oil globally is having a devastating effect on the majestic rainforests of Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia and Malaysia. Since 1990, Indonesia has lost 76 million acres of rainforest; unbelievably this is an area almost the size of Germany. A similar trend has also been observed in Malaysia. Sabah (Malaysian Borneo) has lost 80% of its precious rainforests, much of this to facilitate the cultivation of palm oil plantations. With the demand for palm oil expected to double by 2050, large-scale producers are looking to other areas of the world to expand their businesses including Central and West Africa and Latin America. More than half a million hectares of rainforest are now under threat in the Congo Basin rainforests of Central Africa.

Just a few other names for palm oil include: Elaeis guineensis, Glyceryl, Hydrogenated palm glycerides, Octyl palmitate, Palmitate, Palmityl alcohol, Vegetable oil, Stearic acid and Vegetable fat.

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