Palm Oil, Orangutans & You

Lone at the BOS Australia lecture - Brisbane 14 March 2014

Lone at the BOS Australia lecture – Brisbane 14 March 2014

This week I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Lone Dröscher Nielsen the famous wildlife conservationist. Lone works in Borneo to save, rehabilitate and release orangutans who have been orphaned or displaced by logging and land clearing for palm oil plantations.

Lone during question time at the BOS Australia lecture - Brisbane 14 March 2014

Lone during question time at the BOS Australia lecture – Brisbane 14 March 2014

According to the World Wildlife Fund approximately 300 football fields of forest are cleared every hour to make way for palm oil plantations with much of this is happening in Malaysia and Indonesia. Many already endangered animals, such as the pygmy elephant, Sumatran tiger and the orangutan, are under further pressure by this human activity.

So what does this have to do with you and me?

Well, did you know that over 50% of products in the supermarket contain palm oil? Not all palm oil is bad though. There is such a thing as Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and some companies, due to campaigning by activists and consumers are moving towards using it. There is still a long way to go and if you want to learn more and actively participate head on over to the Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia website

As a consumer you can opt to avoid products which contain non-certified palm oil. Palm oil is used in a wide range of products, from biscuits to beauty products, and is often listed as simply “vegetable oil” but also by other obscure names. Australian consumers may access more information from the Palm Oil Investigations website

The easiest way to avoid palm oil in food is to make as much of it yourself and avoid ready-made packet foods. Making food from scratch is more time consuming, however, it you are anything like me – living in a country like Australia where packet foods and treats are so readily available and being slightly overfed anyway – slowing down the rate of consumption is a good thing.

Dr Seuss, whose wit and wisdom far exceeds mine, sums it up nicely Unless someone like you care a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

What are you thoughts?

Lone (left) with Sandra who knits blankets for baby orangutans

Lone (left) with Sandra who knits blankets for baby orangutans

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Palm Oil, Orangutans & You

  1. Thankyou for the reminder to check the listed ingredients. Despite my avoidance of packet food, I like to buy dry biscuits and these often containg palm oil. Must be more vigilant.

  2. Hi , I am so sad about this too. I saw that she was coming to Brisbane and wondered why she didnt talk in Sydney too!. Thanks for posting this it is so important Tania

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s