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Palm oil: 5 reasons to avoid it at all costs

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Palm oil: 5 reasons to avoid it at all costs
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You are likely to already have heard about it – palm oil is known to have numerous harmful effects: it is bad for your health, for the environment and for society. Here are 5 things that will make you want to stop consuming it immediately.

1) Palm oil promotes cardiovascular disease

Excessive palm oil consumption is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, it is found the the majority of processed foods and ready meals. Palm oil contains 50% saturated fats, and it is one of the worst vegetable oils for your health.

2) It accelerates deforestation

Mass consumption of palm oil on a global scale contributes to deforestation. Indonesia and Malaysia are particularly badly affected by deforestation caused by the monoculture of oil palms.

3) It displaces local populations

It is easy for rich foreign companies to offer significant amounts of money to governments in developing countries, in order to be allowed to grow vast fields of oil palms. The problem is that these companies, or the governments in power, don’t care about the local populations who are evacuated from their lands. These generally poor populations typically farm food crops in order to subsist off of the land, but they are nonetheless obliged to abandon their homes with nothing, to start again somewhere else.

4) Growing oil palms increases the greenhouse effect

palm oil
Credits: African Hope – Wikimedia

Deforestation due to growing oil palms and transporting the oil is one of the greatest sources of pollution and greenhouse gases (CO2) in the world. Furthermore, the majority of crops are not certified organic, and are sprayed with numerous pesticides and chemicals which are harmful to the environment, and end up in the groundwater.

5) It constitutes a threat for endangered species

In Asia, oil palm cultivation poses a threat to the natural habitat of the orangutan, which is considered an endangered species. If cultivation of oil palms increases, this species will disappear within the next ten years or so. And unfortunately, orangutans are not the only species threatened by this kind of intensive farming.

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