Take a look at some footage of orangutans, whether in the wild, or in captivity (sadly, the latter is likely to be more prevalent). They are gentle, incredibly perceptive creatures with sad, knowing eyes and majestic grace. If the destruction of their habitat continues, to make room for palm oil plantations, these great apes will slowly slip away from the wild. All thanks to the greed of mankind and its flagrant disregard for nature.
We are a long way from the orangutan's habitat in South-East Asia yet, there are a number of things we can do to shop ethically and reduce the demand for palm oil. It is used in a seemingly endless number of products and the demand is only set to increase, unless humans take collective action to boycott it.
How will I know what to look for?
Palm oil can appear under a number of assumed names (including palm kernel, stearic acid and sodium kernelate). This page is an excellent resource to familiarise yourself with these and will help you to learn to scrutinise product ingredients.
Are there any particular brands which use palm oil in their products?
The Palm Oil Guide on Rainforest Foundation UK lists a number of brands which use ethically and unethically sourced palm oil in their products. Cosmetic companies such as Aveda, Bobbi Brown, Clarins, Clinique and M.A.C are named on the guide as brands to avoid.
How can I keep it out of my diet?
A simple way to exclude palm oil from your diet, is to cook with natural ingredients from scratch. Processed foods (including biscuits, bread and chocolate) also frequently contain palm oil, so be mindful of the ingredients when buying these. There are plenty of ethical companies to provide us with sweet treats!
If we all make an effort to avoid products containing palm oil, it will help towards reducing the demand for this destructive crop and hopefully, keep a place for the orangutans on the planet we share with them.
To find out more about orangutan conservations, please visit the following websites: