Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil derived from the mesocarp of the fruit of the oil palms. The oil is used in food manufacturing, in beauty products, and as biofuel. Palm oil accounted for about 36% of global oils produced from oil crops in 2014
What is the problem with this oil?
It has been and continues to be a major driver of deforestation of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests, destroying the habitat of already endangered species like the Orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran rhino.
The Bad: Saturated Fats and Calories
About 50% of this oil is made up of saturated fat, mainly palmitic acid. High intake of this type of fat can increase blood LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, boosting cardiovascular disease risk. Also, like all oils, palm oil is packed with calories and moderation is key.
Why is this oil so cheap?
For a start, it’s an extremely efficient crop—the reason why it’s so cheap compared with other oils. An acre of oil palms—the trees that grow the fruit that it is made from—can produce more than 1.35 tons of palm oil annually, at least six times more than other edible oils.
Why is this oil a big problem?
The biggest impact of unsustainable this oil production is the large-scale devastation of tropical forests. As well as widespread habitat loss for endangered species like Asian rhinos, elephants, tigers and orangutans, this can lead to significant soil erosion.