11 Comments

  1. Palm oil and neocolonialism – The Green Vegans
    23rd January 2019 @ 1:50 pm

    […] for palm oil are regularly in the news and an increasing number of people avoid palm oil. In an earlier blog I explained why boycotting palm oil actually isn’t such a good idea if you care about humans, […]

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  2. Paul
    26th December 2018 @ 8:11 pm

    The RSPO is a joke – certification is NOT stopping deforestation: https://www.pnas.org/content/115/1/121

    Palm oil specifically is destroying the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia, and sending untold numbers of species into extinction. As another commenter observes above, geography is important. Yes, other oils are causing harm; but as it stands the only way we can prevent the extinction of the orangutan, the Sumatran tiger, and many other species in these rich ecosystems is by pressuring the industry to radically reform through a boycott. The rainforest habitats of these radically endangered species are being RAZED TO THE GROUND – a new and incredibly rapid development – and the animals that live on them systematically destroyed to create palm oil plantations, on a massive scale. On Borneo alone 150,000 orangutans have died in the last 16 years:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQeNHT0jgvY

    You provide no evidence that switching to other oils will cause equivalent harms. There is no reason to believe it that I’m aware off.

    We should acknowledge the existence of tradeoffs, but then we also need to make our best effort to determine what the best thing to do is. Currently the only ethically acceptable option is to boycott palm oil completely and take part in campaigns to halt deforestation and completely overhaul the industry.

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  3. #3 – Say no to non-sustainable palm oil – Simple Steps
    17th December 2018 @ 9:11 pm

    […] And it is not just the environment that is suffering at the hands of the palm oil industry. People are too. The land used for the plantations is often stolen from local communities. These people are forced to leave their homes or are no longer able to farm the land to feed their communities. Research by Amnesty International also shows that human rights violations are common on palm oil plantations. Workers are underpaid, forced to work with dangerous chemicals and without adequate safety regulations, and child labour is rife.5 […]

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  4. Nsae
    24th November 2018 @ 4:34 am

    Hi guys, thanks for the refreshing perspective. Despite me fully agreeing I have to add, that it cant be a simple efficiency calculation to choose palm oil over others. It must be one of geography. If agriculturaly produced oils are used and thus consumed its production should preferebly be as close to the consumer as possible even if less efficient. Because if you follow that logic we would need to transfer allmost all agriculture to few products and to few locations.

    But nature thrives through diversity, with other words having a mixed agricultural geography world wide, then not only will the commodity chain be shorter and plant and ecosystem diversity be supported. But most off all use of land will be more spread out, even if in sum using more than if highly centralized by efficient palm oil.

    It is a resposibility to see and make our consumption impact ideally our most immediate environment, get a direct feedback and not dump the burden, but rather share the space equally for more or less efficient oil production.

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  5. Sandra Jean McPhee
    11th October 2018 @ 8:15 am

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  6. Simon Validzic
    2nd October 2018 @ 7:06 am

    Although oil palms might produce 5 times more oil per hectare than sunflowers, oil palms require the destruction of tropical forests which mean killing, possibly, 100 times more animals and plants (in terms of both individuals and species) than does the destruction of a hectare of the temperate land on which sunflowers can be grown. I live in Croatia and about 1/7 of the country is abandoned agricultural land. I find it unacceptable when I see beans from Argentina in supermarkets or when products specify that they contain cane sugar (which is grown in countries with bad ecological and indigenous peoples’ rights records) when Croatia produces a surplus of beet sugar. I also avoid bananas, avocados, quinoa, and so on; but I do drink coffee because I work night shifts and it helps keep me awake. Ironically, I also buy several daily newspapers with the intention of writing the occasional ‘letter to the editor’ on ecological issues (because they reach many more people than do online comments); I tried digital subscriptions but they would expire before I get to read them since I also follow a lot of electronic media. Regarding biofuels – I can only ‘sign’ petitions asking governments in Europe to stop mandating them. Rooftop solar photovoltaic cells and using them to produce hydrogen (if a gas is required) seem like a better alternative. I do not drive a car but I do work at air traffic control. Population is a major problem and governments should stop offering financial incentives (such as one-off baby payments and family allowances) for people to breed, especially if they already have 2 children.

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  7. Dee
    17th July 2018 @ 11:37 pm

    Your agrument about going vegan is not helpful because tons of vegan food as palm oil in it (earth balance, justin’s, back to nature , etc). These companies should be ashamed of their hypocrisy . The only way I see it is for vegans to stop buying from these companies and call them out on their error.

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    • Elise
      24th July 2018 @ 10:36 am

      Did you even read the whole article? Boycotting palm oil is not a good idea..

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  8. A Vegan Perspective on Palm Oil – Scent of A Vegan
    10th June 2018 @ 11:01 am

    […] companies to seek alternatives to replace it, all of which are far less sustainable. As noted by The Green Vegans the issue is not palm oil itself but rather “the huge demand for vegetable oils and the lack […]

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  9. soren impey
    13th February 2018 @ 10:38 pm

    RSPO was always an industry-led group so it’s unclear why would focus on its false claims.

    Palm oil grown on non-clear-cut land that is fully traceable and does not involve the extinction of non-human persons is *widely* available:

    http://poig.org/verification-reports-and-poig-innovations/

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    • Alex
      17th February 2018 @ 12:54 pm

      @soren impey

      If RSPO already doesn’t mean much and many companies get the certificate without even adhering to the rules, then why should people believe that POIG, a group that also includes many palm oil companies, is any more trustworthy?

      Sure, it is good to work towards a more sustainable palm oil industry as it’s unlikely the world is going 100% palm oil free, but research has shown that the RSPO is not much of an improvement and not exactly reliable and I don’t see why another group that includes many of the same people and says to support RSPO would be more trustworthy.

      Reply

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