12 Jul '11, 12pm

Can the palm oil we eat ever be wildlife-friendly?

Can the palm oil we eat ever be wildlife-friendly?

It's in so much of what we eat yet most of us know very little about it. Palm oil has become an incredibly important part of our daily lives yet it is unlikely many people even know where it comes from or how it is made. (It’s derived from the crushed nut/fruit of oil palm trees). The reason it matters so much today is threefold. One, it's now an ingredient in around one-third of all packaged food we eat - from bread and biscuits to soap and shampoo - often listed as 'vegetable oil' hence the frequent confusion amongst consumers. 

A UK study found that large quantities of a by-product of palm oil are also fed to our pets and farm animals. Two, it is a tropical agricultural crop, growing best in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia with favourable climate and soils but also some of the world's last tropical rainforests. The rush to grow oil palm to feed consumers in Asia,...

Full article: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/976417/can...

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