Need to boycott companies and products that use palm oil! Make sure you read labels when you buy foods and choose more sustainable options.
Of course, Nutella works to ensure all their palm oil has some veneer of sustainability, but the fact is the more of the planet that eats it, the more palms need to be planted.
> Ferrero... reached its goal of using only palm oil that has been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil... Nutella’s palm oil comes mostly from Malaysia, as well as from Brazil, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, according to reports.
> Greenpeace, the environmental advocacy group, told Quartz in a statement that it opposes a boycott of products with palm oil because “a blanket boycott of this agricultural crop will not solve problems in its production.”
While it is better to buy from RSPO than non-RSPO sources it is far from sustainable.
ensuring there is profitability in every jar!
I checked out the orangutans in Sumatra and you can see the palm plantations encroaching into the jungle. Locals told me they consume a lot of the river water and makes the entire area warmer. Although the area had the fortune of being a natural reserve, I still saw trucks grabbing aggregate from parts of the river that were not included. Oh and if you were in SEA around 2 years ago, the ridiculous haze was from people burning wetlands to plant more palm. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southeast_Asian_haze
I'm also quite puzzled about your conclusion of buying palm oil while also stating many of the negative effects.
What you are saying is that there is no point of trying to improve anything because it will have little effect. With that attitude surely no changes will be made.
You are right that it's more efficient to produce palm oil compared to alternatives. But that's not really a good argument when the production is done the way it is in these corrupt countries.
The implication could be that the energy spent convincing people to not eat Nutella might be better spent on other strategies for solving the problem.
I personally have no idea what the best approach is -- I just wanted to point out another plausible interpretation of the comment.
As for Catsmull, he may be coming from a problematic context but that doesn't mean he doesn't have valuable insight.
Not sure if that's accurate but that's what local folks told me.
Those days are long gone. Though I hear in europe they still get Nutella with sugar and glass jars. I'm not sure if they escape the Palm oil there as well.
I grew up eating Nutella sandwiches in the USA, at a time when you couldn't find it anywhere except specialty Italian grocers. The current product found on shelves in the USA is drastically different experientially speaking from what I was fed as a kid. It's not very good anymore IMHO.
No it's palm oil as well in Europe.
I have used it to replace Nutella several years ago.
It is probably a bit costlier but since I only need a pot / year, that's not really an issue.
So this would be some kind of Nutella-like spread sold under some local/artisanal brand, made from like 80% hazelnuts + chocolate, instead of the 60% sugar + 20% palm oil + 20% hazelnuts and chocolate in Nutella. (I imagine ingredients vary somewhat from brand to brand though; check the label.)
It’s more expensive because higher hazelnut and cacao content are more expensive ingredients than sugar or palm oil. It’s also less spreadable and much less sweet.
A web search turns up e.g. http://foodloversodyssey.com/2011/07/history-chocolate-in-tu...
It is a simple google search away : http://www.nocciolatausa.com/
I bought it in Europe so it looks like it is widely available.
>How is it better?
No palm oil for one. On top of the environmental problems, it looks like it is not great for your health either, so I avoid it.
The composition in general looks more healthy than Nutella and the taste is great so I did not really overthink this.
Also, what %age of palm oil production is by western corporations?
Not sure how accurate these stats are but here are some numbers: https://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/hs92/1511/
Back in the days of national companies, most making just a few fairly closely related products, seems like a boycott could achieve much more.
Even disregarding the network effect that cause beliefs held by minority larger than 10% to rapidly get adopted by the majority https://phys.org/news/2011-07-minority-scientists-ideas.html , it's only a matter of a short while before the group starts weilding actual power for social change. The rate of growth is already dominating food marketing and packaging news and research.
Anyway, people must eat something. Replacing one crop by another does not change enough. It is time for efficient food production (indoor, GMO,...) that does not waste air, water, land, plants, insects and other animals like traditional outdoor agriculture.
I know lots of vegans that eat junk. You are making things up.
Maybe a vegan junk food based diet including large amounts of refined oils, sugar and candy is common among vegans and I do not know about it.
It makes for really subpar meetups and online groups, I"m sad to say. No one has all that much in common, other than food -
the preferences and priorities of which, as we are discussing, vary from person to person.
Well that, and generic, somewhere-left-of-center outrage at the current administration.
As for how many people need to join a boycott to make it worthwhile, well this is the same argument as voting. One at at time might not seem huge but once more people know and change their habits, this does have an effect on the market. See organic food, that did start very small but there has been a slow but gradual switch in consumer behaviors.
There are some responsible producers, and if you check the packaging they'll typically label it proudly.
Otherwise you would be telling indonesians how to use their lands, and you have zero moral standing to do so if you're from Europe or the US. Which have almost zero big fauna intact.
A couple of ways to solve this problem could be:
* Subsidies for alternative cooking oil and better nutrition education for SE Asia people: Palm oil is not that healthy and alternatives like soybean oil is only a bit more expensive but healthier. Keep in mind though, many streetside food stalls and small restaurants where the majority of the populations eat out will use the least expensive option available, so subsidies for alternative oils might be needed.
* International treaty and tech-based monitoring: There should be tangible short-term incentives for the populace of the countries where the rainforest resides to maintain it. Otherwise, since most of these populations are still quite poor, they will not think long-term by exploiting it gradually and sustainably or "take one for the world" to keep it pristine for global biodiversity. The grassroots incentives are needed to make sure that political parties holding power will not be punished by the voters by signing these treaties, which will affect the way some portions of the populations make their living.
With better technologies like drones and satellites, it might become possible to monitor how the governments signing these treaties keep their promises and the global community can pay out the incentives accordingly.
As for curbing corruption--it would be nice if that could be done--but it is quite unlikely to be that successful in the short- or medium-term.  So, incentivizing voters in these countries to reward/punish their governments, in addition to international monitoring, would be necessary.
* Anti-corruption technology for the governments: With better technology, it might be possible for top-level politicians and bureaucrats to reduce corruption at the lower level and, as a result, less invasion on some of these lands that are protected legally. International technical help for developing such technology could be impactful.
But the more general problem is total lack of respect for the environment in Malaysia and Indonesia.
The root of most of our large-scale problems is just that - the scale, the multiplier.
It doesn't seem like we will ever actually face this issue head-on and manage population like just another resource, scientifically, with data determining what the appropriate number of people is for a given land mass and standard of living.
Instead, our elected officials will continue doing very short-sighted (re)election-paced plans. We, as a species, will continue leveraging technology to push our numbers ever higher with little regard for the long-term consequences. Then nature, like a sudden stock market collapse, will correct this unruly mess in the form of a population collapse and suffering the world has never before seen.
This all annoys me quite a lot, because we're perfectly capable of managing the situation better and actually preventing a huge amount of long-term suffering if we just decided to face reality.
What's happening in lieu of population size management, is a steady decline of quality of life. Access to clean air and drinking water is diminishing, access to clean real food is an expensive privilege (organic produce), civil liberties are eroding (9/11!), the seas are contaminated with microplastics, housing costs are skyrocketing, infrastructure is crumbling, this list can go on. These are all symptoms of a massive multiplier being applied to much of modern-man's activities.
But let's not try to address these challenges, when we can instead argue endlessly over why there aren't more women in the engineering department.
There are numerous reports of Orangutans being exploited as sex slaves in the midst of this palm plantation induced destruction of their habitats.
It's probably insignificant, but I am now very careful when purchasing any manufactured goods, stuff like peanut butter. If Palm oil is an ingredient, I'm not buying it, full stop. Not sure what else an individual can do to combat this disgusting situation.
If you buy stuff with palm oil, make sure it's sustainable (usually on the label), otherwise send an email to the company asking where they source it. If there's enough consumer pressure applied to these companies, many will change to doing the right thing.
Like a case of broken windows . One could argue if such wanton destruction of the Orangutan habitats wasn't occurring in the first place, then there'd be significantly less incidence of Orangutan prostitution.
The destruction is not only precipitating Orangutans destined for premature death available to the sex traffickers, it's also setting an example of total disregard for their lives on a massive scale. What harm is there in exploiting them briefly for profit before they die? (Not my position, but I can easily imagine that thought process being real for the traffickers.)
But I feel it's also fairly obvious that there are positive effects to demonstrating care and good hygiene in general. It promotes the same from others. To do the contrary, demonstrating carelessness and neglect, has the opposite effect.
This week I was hauling a trailer load of trash from a cabin I'm rehabbing out to the dump. One of my distant neighbors I hadn't met yet walked out to the street and flagged me down to introduce himself and have a chat.
In the course of the conversation, he asked where I was taking my load of trash. I replied "to the dumpsters at the community center", an appropriate place for disposal.
He indicated across the street to an abandoned, decrepit cabin, which is directly across the road from his property a sprawling ~20 acre complex. What he suggested surprised me considering the proximity to his own property. He said "You could just throw it in there, the owner doesn't care about the place."
I bit my tongue and continued on to the dumpster, with thoughts of broken windows circulating my mind.
It would certainly go a long way to help, though.
In Africa, for example, tourism has become a major economic force in many rural areas, with rare animals being central to the attraction. Since those communities are as tight-knit as they are in small villages anywhere, they have both the incentives and the means to stop individuals from undermining the local economy.
WHAT THE FUCK?
Seriously, this is crazy disgusting, how can this possibly be a thing?????? WTF???
EDIT: It's not even that, people are just straight up killing these poor orangutans.
> “Worryingly, however, the largest number of orangutans were lost from areas that remained forested during the study period. This implies a large role of killing.”
> In February, Indonesian police arrested two rubber plantation workers in Borneo, accusing them of shooting an orangutan multiple times, decapitating it and then throwing its body into a river. The men claimed they were acting in self-defense, according to local media reports.
> So, in addition to protection of forests, we need to focus on addressing the underlying causes of orangutan killing. The latter requires public awareness and education, more effective law enforcement, and also more studies as to why people kill orangutans in the first place,” he said.
But that's not at all what the article states:
>“The decline in population density was most severe in areas that were deforested or transformed for industrial agriculture, as orangutans struggle to live outside forest areas,” said a lead researcher for the study, Maria Voigt of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.
This isn't obvious from satellite imagery where it would appear that the jungle is intact, but if there's a logging road nearby then you can be sure poachers, miners, and others are running around underneath the canopy.
All three of the quotes you added aren't talking about poaching, they are talking about killing of orangutans. This could be done because they are a nuisance or locals see them rummaging through trash or what-not.
Ctrl+F in the article for "poach" - zero hits
When people talk about life getting better they generally mean human welfare, not wildlife welfare. Never the less, without progress in science and industry, I'm sure wildlife would be even worse off. Imagine if most people still burnt non petroleum resources for cooking and heating....
Trivia: Orang orang = people, orang utan = forest people.
If you could become an imaginary micro unit more happier but it would cost 14 orangutans their lives, does it still hold? And for people on the opposite side, if saving one orangutan was guaranteed to cost a human their life - or perhaps their eyesight or a limb - would it still be worth it?
We’re not living in a 20s silent film, there are shades of gray in this world.
Neither of those situations exist.
I don't blame anyone to choosing to send their kids to school or fix their roof though.
Someone is deciding it's better to have palm oil then orangutans. It's hard to value something that you'll only ever see on a screen or in a zoo. How can you even say you'll miss it? Compare that to your second lambo. Even if you never drive it you see it in driveway every day.
Secondly, it's not about difficulty in valuing something that's hard to see; our markets do plenty of that and are very good at it. It's that there is no value placed on orangutans. Even if you get to see one every day, that may affect your personal decisions but it has no effect collectively because orangutans, like anything else that exists freely in nature such as unclaimed resources, are priced close to $0 in the markets. Only if someone "owned" all the orangutans, for example, then you can talk about value.
The only way to resolve this issue is to push for better governance in Indonesia.
I really wonder at what point we decide we've destroyed enough of the natural world. It looks like we're not going to stop at all. Which is rather depressing.
It's not a fair trade and of no help to the species under threat.
There were plenty of civilizations whose nature was very intertwined with nature.
Perhaps more appropriate phrasing is western nature; and it was western nature that killed them all off.
Human nature is human nature, it can happen anywhere and with anyone. If there is one thing that is uniquely associated with Western dominance though it is capitalism which unleashes the greedy part of human nature, and by competition it tends to outgrow all other ways of life (as we see now), even without the intensely aggressive way in which it proselytizes itself through violence.
But a vast majority of humans are never in such a position.
And a vast majority of humans suffer under the oppression of such people.
Adaptability under oppression might be human nature - it is, in fact, a widely experienced piece of the larger 'human condition.'
I just do not think that the coercive nature of the few, which becomes enshrined within Western institutions, bring about absolutism to human nature.
Are these natures embodied in Western society? Yes.
Are these natures the status quo of the West? Yes.
Are these natures within all of us? Maybe.
Are these natures 'Human Nature?' Certainly no. How can they be when they are entirely inhumane?
Contribution of citizen science towards international biodiversity monitoring
The documentary footage from the original National Geographic Bornean Orangutan expedition in the early 1970s really tells the tale. Remarkable how "unstressed" they seem in their ancient lush jungle habitat. Both mothers and babies playfully cavorting with Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas!
Search for the Great Apes: Part 1 -- Orangutans
Not saying I disagree with the overall point, and I personally would not feel comfortable murdering a fellow primate. Just saying I see this "future generations..." line of persuasive reasoning often and it usually jostles me in an unwelcome way.
This is just fucked up. Human cruelty knows no bounds.
Disturbed individuals who eventually become serial killers, start by torturing animals before graduating to humans.
Maybe the near human appearance and mannerisms of these apes, make them an attractive target for such individuals.
We just need to manage the expansion of the plantation properly. It's getting better now under the Jokowi administration but we shall see if he gets elected the second time.
If you are looking to do something, here is a charity that takes care of orphan apes, buys land for the species to live on and lobbies for their protection.