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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Good vs Bad Palm Oil: Is There a Difference?

Palm oil. It's been a bit of a buzz word in recent years. There's shared Facebook posts demonising brands, people who sing their hatred of palm oil from the rooftops - and there's even information on palm oil plastered on the walls of the orangutan enclosure at Taronga Zoo. 

But what's the truth? Is there such a thing as good palm oil and bad palm oil? 

I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to claims as I don't like to believe anything I hear in the media before researching it myself - and the same goes for palm oil. I wanted to find out what was actually going on with the palm oil trade and what it means for our world. 

Around 50% of foods sitting on grocery store shelves around the globe contain palm oil. It's in our packaged foods, shampoo and conditioners, soaps - even lipstick and cosmetics. Sure that's not good news for wildlife, right?!

Wrong... well... sort of wrong. You see, there is such a thing as "good" palm oil - good meaning sustainable - and sustainable meaning  the production processes do not destroy rainforests and ecosystems or cause air pollution (which further increases the risk of extinction for creatures living in that environment). "Good" palm oil also benefits local communities with fair working conditions. 

Unfortunately, only 17% of the 74+ million tonnes of palm oil consumed around the world is from these "good" sustainable sources. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) are trying to change that though - and they are already starting to see change!

The RSPO trademark movement is gaining momentum with 13 countries currently listed with RSPO certified producers and many companies choosing to use only RSPO certified palm oil in their products. 

RSPO are trying to inspire change through social media with their #GoodBadPalmOil social media campaign - and they asked Jesse and I to jump on board. As a couple with a heart for the developing world and the people and creatures who live there, we couldn't say no. 

Palm oil doesn't just affect animals. It affects our sponsor children and their families and it affects our world as a whole. 

When we have the opportunity to share our voice and opinion with the click of a single button, I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to get involved to inspire change.

So what can you do? 
  1. Learn more about Palm Oil here.
  2. Say yes to sustainable palm oil and share it with your friends on social media to help spread awareness of RSPO's campaign.
  3. Buy products from RSPO certified companies (find a list here)
How do you know when a product uses RSPO certified palm oil? Look for the symbol! In Australia, RSPO members include Arnotts, Coles, Woolworths, Jurlique, McCain, Nuttelex and so many more.  We ALL have a choice - and we also have the opportunity to put pressure on the industry to change. 

But tell me, do you ever think about where the ingredients in your food come from? 


As always, this post was written entirely by us, though it was created in partnership with RSPO. We're passionate about inspiring positive change in the world and for us, a blog post like this is one little effort that has the potential to make a difference. We'd love you to support us by sharing this post and sharing the love with our friends at RSPO. 

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