Palm Oil vs. Rainforests: A Tragedy in the Making

Broadcast on 2015/04/04 (PT)

wp-RainforestNicolas Alexandre, senior at the University of Arizona, President of the Palm Oil Awareness Initiative

Kim Kelly, Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology the University of Arizona, Co-Founder and advisor/member of Palm Oil Awareness Initiative

Stacey Tecot, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, Co-Founder and Academic Advisor of Palm Oil Awareness Initiative

Did you know that palm oil is the MOST consumed edible oil today? And that because of its versatility, the demand worldwide has tripled over the last few decades. Palm oil is cheap and often substituted for cocoa butter and is semi-solid at room temperature. I like to think of it as one of those ingredients I call “what lies beneath.” It’s in lots of chocolate, frying oil, baked goods, breakfast cereals, cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products. Palm oil is in such demand that much of Southeast Asia, especially Borneo and Sumatra, have grown massive plantations of this crop – all at the very tragic expense of the rainforests and their inhabitants. Because of my deep love and respect for the rainforests, this show will be a tough one for me. But trust me when I say it will be one well worth listening to and I am ready for the challenge. This show sponsored by The University of Arizona.

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4 thoughts on “Palm Oil vs. Rainforests: A Tragedy in the Making”

  1. beau frenchy says:

    great show truly enjoyed it…..
    those kids were great.

    1. Mrs. Green says:

      Thank you for your feedback. They are amazing kids – truly.

  2. Daniel says:

    Thank you for getting the word out about this important issue! I listened to the segment with great interest. It’s a huge issue, and probably one of the most complex out there. As a consumer who tries to make sustainable choices wherever possible, I was a bit puzzled by one of the suggestions made by one of your guests, though: “Don’t buy a shampoo that bubbles.” Never ever in my life have I encountered a shampoo or any other kind of soap that does not bubble. Soap that doesn’t bubble doesn’t contain detergents, which are the whole point of soap in the first place. I wish that point would have been addressed in a more scientific and more applicable way because advising people to buy soap that doesn’t bubble doesn’t really help. 😉 I’m glad the guests provided some other pointers, e.g. about the palmoil scanner apps and sodium lauryl sulfate and palmitate, which I always thought of as generic fatty acids and not linked to palm oil in any way. I think that it would have been useful to point out that both are not NECESSARILY linked to palm oil per se (e.g. palmitate is in dairy as well), but apparently are more often than not with regard to product labels. Good stuff, thanks again!

    1. Mrs. Green says:

      Thanks for your great comments Daniel. How is married life so far?

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