It’s easy to take each other’s words as gospel. Not forming an opinion yourself may be one the things that can annoy me the most these days. “I’ve heard in a video somewhere that milk is now bad for you”. The rise of social media is now challenging us to stay critical of what we read on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, it is very hard to always be critical of what you read. We all know about clickbait titles and videos that lure you in by creating an outrageous title. Mostly, the stories in these videos and articles are much more nuanced than you would think. Take for example palm oil. Palm oil is getting a bad reputation around the world for being ecologically damaging. But as I keep saying, do your own research. Palm oil is one the most versatile products we have. It is literally in everything around you. It is easy to harvest, easy to grow, and easy to store and ship. Better still, there is now a way to produce and harvest palm oil ecologically.
What is palm oil?
Let’s first address the elephant in the room; what is palm oil? Almost every article I read that discusses palm oil asks: what is palm oil, so I thought I’d address it to. Palm oil is an oil that is obtained from the fruit of the palm tree. Its use is extremely versatile. Shampoo, conditioner, butter, chocolate spread, the packaging that contains chocolate spread. What is palm oil? It is maybe the most useful product we have, apart from beer of course. The massive use has demanded a swift rise in the production, which has caused deforestation. However, as consumers are getting more and more aware of palm oil, there has begun an ecological change in the production of palm oil.
Palm oil can, and is, produced ecologically.
Numerous organizations are now helping farmers to increase their yields per square meter. This reduces the need for extra fields, which prevents deforestation. There is even a certificate that shows that the palm oil in a product is ecologically produced. The RSPO-certificate on a product shows that 95% of the palm oil used in that product is produced ecologically. The same certificate also ensures the safekeeping of wildlife habitats, the right disposal of waste, and a sufficient payment for the farmers. The only thing for us to do is buy those products that have the RSPO-certificate. There you go. You now have the answer to the question: what is palm oil? Not only that, you now know that there is “green” palm oil that you can buy. It’s not that bad, just read a bit further than the headlines. You can make it even better by only buying palm oil with the RSPO-certificate.