Palm oil is found in most of the products, from food you eat, soap you take bath, bio-diesel to run engines, etc…
Palm oil has more demand in the world than any other oil because:
- Creamy texture
- Cheap to produce
- Stable in processing
- High melting point
- Semi-solid in room temperature
- Long self life
- Less land to produce
India consumes 17% of the palm followed by Indonesia, European union, China, etc.. The palm fruit is steamed and pressed to produce oil. European union uses most of the palm oil as a biodiesel. The world consumes 35% palm oil, followed by other oils. 50% of the super market items are made up of palm oil.
Many top companies like P&G, Nestle, Cadbury diary milk, Unilever, etc.. Use palm oil to produce their products(dove soap, diary milk, etc…
It is used in:
- Lipstick- it holds color well, doesn’t melt at high temp and for smooth application.
- Pizza- to not let dough to be sticky
- Shampoo- conditioning agent, restore natural oil in scalp after shampoo
- Icescream- makes it smooth and creamy
- Chocolates- create smooth and shiny appearance and keep away from melting
what is the problem?
Most of palm oil is produced in bornea( island of Malaysia and Indonesia), bornea is a home land for many animal species- especially bornean orang utan. 16,000 square miles of rain forests have been deforestated for the production of palm oil. 1,50,000 critically endangered bornean orang utan perished from 1999 to 2015. 1/2 of Indonesia’s greenhouse comes from deforestation of rain forests. 25 orang utans are killed everyday in Indonesia. Many companies still depend on this oil to produce there products. Green peace have shown proof to the companies, to stop the using ‘dirty’ palm oil(palm oil produced from deforestation). Palm oil can also be produced without deforestation. Palm oil production have reduced due to boycotting and stoping bulldozers from deforestation. But they are less than 20% RSPO( roundtable on sustainable palm oil ) certified producers.
What can be the solution:
An Indonesian startup(biteback) has made up to produce palm oil by insects. It was founded by two people mush’ab Nursantio (founder and CEO) and Ifdhol Syawkowi (co-founder and CTO).
They produce it by a superworm((Zophobas morio), darkling beetle larvae reproduce rapidly and give more surplus. we can produce 40 times more yield in the same land used in plantation of palm fruit. It takes less space to produce. At first these insects are baked in a oven and pressed to produce palm oil. The process takes out 90% of the larvaes fatty acids. The waste of the insect body can be used as fertilisers for the crops, we can even produce protein supplements for us. Chitin(exo-skeleton of insects) can also be used to make bioplastics.
Biteback is trying to making more byproducts using these insects. They help farmers to get more surplus by producing insects.
I cannot say stop using palm oil products because they are many lives still depend on palm oil produce. try to not use dirty palm oil as mentioned above, try to use RSPO certified products. Check for the RSPO label. Let us be away from deforestation and global warming.