Palm Oil: do you know the good from the bad?
In collaboration with RSPO.
In recent months my priorities in life have changed in so many ways. I’ve changed.
Not that I think there was anything especially wrong with me before but if there’s one thing that a Cancer diagnosis does, it gives you a big reality check.
Previously, I gave very little thought to the things I was eating, drinking and doing. I didn’t often read product labels. It didn’t cross my mind to think about what products I used for myself or the kids.
I cared about my planet but it came a long way down the list and I was wrong for that. In the past few months I’ve started to spend so much more time considering the decisions I make and how they effect not only me, but my family, my community and the world around me.
My health and that of my family is paramount and I’m striving to make better decisions for us now and to teach the kids to make good decisions as they grow up too.
You’ll have seen a lot in the press recently about bad palm oil and how it’s rapidly destroying virgin rainforests and ecosystems and causing air pollution to rise. Many species are at risk of extinction. It’s destroying the homes of animals like the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger.
I will hold my hands up and say I knew little more than that and it just hadn’t crossed my mind how I might be contributing to the issue.
I wanted to let you know about a campaign I’ve recently heard about from RSPO, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
RSPO are raising awareness of the fact that we can say ‘Yes’ to GOOD palm oil. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as ‘good’ palm oil – did you?
Good palm oil is that which is certified, sustainable palm oil and we have a choice between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’.
I was so uneducated on this – in fact, I was completely uneducated on what products actually contained palm oil.
Half of all supermarket goods contain palm oil and it’s everyday items that I hadn’t even considered like noodles, margarine, ice-cream and chocolate. Chocolate and ice-cream!
70% of the world’s cosmetics and household detergents contain raw materials derived from palm oil.
This little video by renowned artist Jessica Dance demonstrates this:
And this is where RSPO come in. As well as raising awareness and educating people like me on how to choose the ‘good’ palm oil, they believe that we can achieve 100% certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) and that we should.
If grown sustainably, ‘good’ palm oil can help local communities with fair working conditions and help to protect those species and rainforests that are at risk now.
Their work is already having massive effect – 13 countries currently have RSPO certified producers and many companies are displaying the RSPO trademark on their packaging. Click here to see some examples of those products.
RSPO have asked me to get involved because like so many other parents, I’m concerned not only for my family but also for the world around us.
I want to help create an eco-friendly and sustainable world for my children to grow up in. I want them to understand that their actions have consequences and that we have a responsibility to be kind to our planet.
I need to educate myself and my family more and it’s a work in progress.
RSPO are encouraging us all to join the debate on social media with the hashtag #GoodBadPalmOil and I encourage you to find out more here.
Say Yes to ‘good’ palm oil and encourage the industry to change.
What are your thoughts on the Palm Oil debate?
Did you realise that ‘good’ palm oil was even possible?