Wednesday, October 29th, 2008, 11:27 AM
Oreo cookies, Cheez-It crackers, and other foods, soaps, and cosmetics, all contain palm oil–the demand for which has more than doubled in the past year, making palm oil the most widely-traded vegetable oil in the world.
The climate change connection? The push for palm is encroaching on some of the world’s most important rainforests. Most of the palm oil in the U.S. is importted from Indonesia and Malaysia, where burning of forests to make way for plantations is commonplace. This deforestation, and the release of stored carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is one of the main reasons Indonesia is among the worst contributors to the manmade global warming effect.
The Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace International, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Science in the Public Interest are all campaigning to increase public awareness of the environmental impact of current palm oil production.
Leila Salazar-Lopez, who leads Rainforest Action network’s agribusiness campaign says, “There’s currently no palm oil in the world that can be proven to be sustainable.”
These groups are building a coalition of concerned citizens and food companies to advocate for sustainable palm oil. Get involved!
Learn more about palm oil and how you are affected here.