I avoid palm oil in foods for the simple reason I don't consider anything made with palm oil to be a "whole" food. But I've never known what to do about other products like soap.
P.S. To bystanders, you may think your soaps don't contain palm oil. Check for anything like "lauryl sulfate". That's (probably) palm oil.
My parents, born in India in late 50s, rarely had access to soaps and detergents growing up in the countryside. They are still very conscientious in how much detergent they use. It's a lot of bad habits that mega-corps have tried to push onto us.
And it can go under so many names after it's been processed by the Oleochemical industry - https://www.ran.org/the-understory/palm_oil_s_dirty_secret_t...
Not eating Oreo filling or Nutella is just generally good health advice (if you want chocolate + hazelnut spread, you can buy ones made out of hazelnuts and chocolate instead of mostly sugar and palm oil; plenty of available packaged cookies have little or no vegetable oil). Plenty of available peanut butter has nothing but “peanuts” as an ingredient. Make your own pie crust using flour and butter (or lard). Etc.
Avoiding palm oil in soap/shampoo is harder; best first step is probably to reduce soap consumption. Most people use way more soap than necessary, way more often than necessary.
Their liquid soap doesn't contain palm oil.
In addition, you still rely on those monopolies to provide you with the utility: https://startyourownisp.com/posts/fiber-provider/
(1) as a feedstock for making surfactants in personal cleaners (shampoos, toothpaste, bath gel) like sodium laureth sulfate ;
(2) as a substitute for partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (incl. trans fats) in food manufacturing; partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils (containing unsaturated fatty acids) will alter their melting point and texture to produce solid-at-room-temp shortening; and
(3) as a cooking oil. Lately, it has also seen some use in biodiesel.
To replace palm oil in surfactants, you can use coconut oil (which is even more intensive to produce), or by synthesizing the precursors from mined hydrocarbons (typically oil or natural gas) using a variety of clever chemical reactions; or lard from animals, which requires raising animals.
To replace palm oil in food manufacturing, you can use coconut oil, lard, or you can partially hydrogenate unsaturated fatty acids derived from many vegetable oils; by doing the latter you're converting some of your product into trans fat.
To replace palm oil in cooking, choose from a variety of other oils and fats.
Unfortunately, almost all of the European and US consumption is for manufacturing, while elsewhere it's used for cooking as well. While European and US suppliers do own palm oil plantations, they also source from other producers. This complicates the market: boycotts against big manufacturers of soap or food will drive the price of palm oil lower, increasing the likelihood that it will be offloaded to a different set of countries as cheap cooking oil.
Do you have any reliable resources on how to do this? I would like to, but I'm always dubious of the resources I find, since they seem to be biased. Not that I don't trust their information, but I just have a hard time verifying it.
I mean there is a chance I've got a product with wrong labeling. I just accept I have to trust other people or the labels to figure out if information is incorrect.
Is there oil labeled as "vegetable oil" that contains palm oil? Or is there another reason you think it should be avoided?
but what if it's just regular sunflower oil or something of the sort?
we are on course for at least a +4C world.
(Fueling a ship with bunker oil is only slightly less bad to the environment than shoveling baby koalas into the furnace.)
I've been to Borneo 2 years ago, the views all over Malaysian parts of it (and actual Malaysia mainland too, you see it from plane when landing in Kuala Lumpur very clearly) were extremely depressing to me - rows and rows of palm trees in perfect grid where you expect true chaotic wilderness, and basically no other plants around it, just bare soil. That put a pretty sour taste to otherwise beautiful vacation, not sure if I want to visit that country again
There was a story posted earlier this week about orangutan populations on decline due to Cadbury using Palm Oil.
This story made me rather angry, as they are just trying to live and we need to make sure they can.
You're seeing results now, but that doesn't mean the actions haven't been going on for a while. When I was at Unilever ~7 years ago, I sat across from one of the environmental lawyers working on their sustainability initiatives. At that point in time, in order to sustainably source palm oil you had to:
1) Define what "sustainable" meant
2) Create, support, or at the very least integrate with whatever body does the certification and monitoring of the sustainability aspect
3) Drill down multiple levels deep and ensure you know the entire chain of custody of your raw supplies at all times. The equivalent of recursively auditing every single dependency of every single dependency in your source code, where every single dependency has the ability to arbitrarily inject net new dependencies without notice.
4) Enough market clout to force suppliers through all of this hassle. Which in the end doesn't net the supplier much additional income, since the increased prices get eaten by the increased compliance and production costs.
5) Enough compliant global suppliers to minimize supply risk.
6) Time delay related to implementation of all of the above, plus contract re-negotiations with suppliers which add in language related to the sustainability obligations.
Unilever disclosed earlier this year the entire list of 300 direct suppliers and 1,400 mills they source palm oil from. They've also shown their suppliers that the requirement has teeth and that non-compliance will result in being dropped. That's only possible after over a decade of effort in rolling out the global resources, infrastructure, processes, and supply chain risk planning necessary to be able to do so at such a massive scale. But now that supply chain transparency for palm oil has been developed at scale by the large CPG companies, the sustainable sourcing barrier is a lot lower for mid-sized manufacturers and we'll hopefully start seeing more of this.
 Consumer Packaged Goods. Companies like Unilever, P&G, Mars, etc that make all the random little things you pick up from the store during your day-to-day shopping.
In any case, the ad seems to be having no trouble reaching people.
Stewart Copland was on Sirius recently saying that the band was never banned, it was just a marketing gimmick thought by the record company to sell more albums.
And it worked.
Notice that Clearcast wouldn't have recommended against the ad if it had been created by Iceland.
Iceland are allowed to create ads saying "we've stopped using palm oil, and here's why".
This is, in short, a transparent marketing ploy.
You are right, Clearcast is an NGO . It's not the regulator, but "Broadcasters make private arrangements through Clearcast to secure public law objectives".
> Notice that Clearcast wouldn't have recommended against the ad if it had been created by Iceland.
I had noticed that :-), it's the exact statement in the the Clearcast announcement I linked to.
> This is, in short, a transparent marketing ploy.
One which seems to have been very successful for all concerned.
Moreover, the same source lists that about 95% is used as edible oil. In a country with high poverty, to claim "sustainability concerns are dismissed as a western luxury" is just a statement of fact. If you don't know where your next meal is coming from, it is hard to care for orangutans dying in another country. This is not an excuse for apathy, it is just human nature.
Short answer is we don't know.
Long answer is I just write the software - ask the boss.
"Canola" is Canadian in origin. In fact, the "Can" in "canola" means Canada.
Ok I was wrong, India is 15%, and EU consumes a surprisingly high percentage at 12%. But still, subtracting the EU and US, 85% of the oil is consumed by developing countries that are too poor to worry about the environmental impacts.
That being said, it seems like India is working on adding duties to palm oil leading to an increase in domestic price. 
Let's say 100 farmers around the world sell palm oil, for $100 a tub. About half wreck the environment, about half are very careful and replant what they harvest.
Western people come in and start to refuse to buy the "environment wrecking" Palm Oil. So they go to the environmental friendly sellers, and start paying $150 for ethical palm oil. On the other hand, people that don't care or places that can get away with it continue to use forest destroying palm oil. There is now a price difference ($100 for normal stuff, $150 for ethical stuff), so most non-western demand shifts to the cheap stuff.
End result: Still 100 farmers selling palm oil. 50 being ethical, and 50 not.
The 50 unethical farmers still make $100 per tub. The 50 ethical farmers now make $150 per tub.
The environment seems no different. The only difference is that $50 got transferred from the banks of wealthy westerners to the ethical palm oil farmers. Which is nice and all, but I am not seeing how it changed anything in the environment.
You would need almost EVERYONE to switch to the ethical route for it to do anything. That would cause surplus supply and price drops of unethical palm oil. Even 50% of users switching seems not nearly enough.
No, in my scenario only half the farmers were wrecking the forest anyway. That did not change.
> Additionally, there is now an incentive to become an ethical farmer for the remaining half.
Perhaps, but also higher costs. They may still be less ethical then the unethical farmers.
This is analogous to the situation in electricity n markets and hydro production btw. Old hydro dams built in the 50s produce power for customers paying extra for "green power" and the money doesn't go to investments in wind/solar.
if it's 50%.. and the current supply is 51%.. I don't think you change anything by the crusade except spend more money?
If a group can be loud and forceful, even if their numbers are small, they can create positive change to help orangutans
India, China, the EU, and Indonesia are among the largest global consumers of palm oil according to this: https://www.palmoilandfood.eu/en/palm-oil-consumption
Europe reducing their palm oil use at least makes an impact, and should be encouraged.
I'm figuring India, China, and Indonesia heavily use palm oil given their geographic proximity to the largest source of palm oil cultivation, which is why it's cheap. More pressure should be put on Malaysia and Indonesia to curb deforestation for the sake of planting oil palms. Further, more pressure should continue to be put on corporate supply chains to decrease their palm oil use. The farmers of these countries are slashing and burning forest land because palm oil is the crop that is in demand. The change has to flow from the top down in order to stop desperate and ignorant suppliers from burning away their own lands and contributing to deforestation and climate change for a few pennies on the dollar.
The cost is higher. I don't use the sustainably produced oil now. When all is said and done, it might increase my unit cost by ~15%--which is manageable really since unit margins are decent. The reason I don't use it is about 1 part Scrooge McDuck and 3 parts skepticism/cynicism. Without a relationship with the actual producers, I don't know what "sustainably produced" actually means.
I remember my grandma telling me of her home-made soap production using pig fat and lye.
Can someone explain why this wouldn't be the case?
 according to this http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_yield.html
Cause the answer is obvious. They will not stop trying to make a living and working hard to feed their families. No, instead of growing the oil palm they will grow something else. And now we're at best right back where we started, but more realistically we are worse off, because there is a reason the farmers prefer oil palms. It is obviously because they are the most profitable, because they require the least work/land/capital for the most output. So the second best option they will choose for growing will be something that is even worse for the environment and the orangutans!
Until then no more Cadbury's for me, though TBH since they sold out to this US megacorp the quality has gone to shit.
However, I read through and started following the blog of Taneli Roininen (http://www.gonebikefishing.com/) who is bicycling around the world before his major heart operation.
There are plenty of pictures and somehow I could relate to what he wrote, seeing vividly his pedalling, hearing the sounds and feeling the wind in my minds eye.
When his trails went by palm oil plantations, one could really feel the scale and impact, as well as his frustration. It made the whole palm oil industry more concrete in some strange way... they are big and destructive.
Meanwhile, looking at this article with a systems perspective, this is incredibly good news. Large operational entities realizing that they are most performant when accountable to the public is a very, very good sign.
For example, I would never say in a whiny voice, “that plant only grows because it gets watered!” or “that student only works hard for good grades!” or “that product is only good because the brand wants to make more money!”
My point is: the why is less important to observe than the how. In this case, the WHY is that this company is just looking out for its own interests (it’s obvious, that’s what they do). HOW is it looking out for it’s own interests? By recognizing that it needs to be accountable to the critical, ethical public.
That is super cool and very interesting.
> Half of the Bornean orangutan population has been wiped out in just 16 years, with habitat destruction by the palm oil industry a leading driver. More than three-quarters of Tesso Nilo national park, home to tigers, orangutans and elephants, has been converted into illegal palm oil plantations. Globally, 193 Critically Endangered, Threatened and Vulnerable species are threatened by palm oil production.
> The plantation sector – palm oil and pulp – is the single largest driver of deforestation in Indonesia. Around 24 million hectares of rainforest was destroyed in Indonesia between 1990 and 2015, according to official figures released by the Indonesian government .
If you're so concerned about forests why don't you grow some yourself instead of bullying other countres?
Expecting a lot of dislikes from Bay Area which is a huge plot of ecosystems destroyed for profit.
Therefore it is extremely high on the priority list. It's also usually more cost effective to avoid destroying something than to restore something.
Then sell the presscakes as Soylent Green. Or further process them to make non-soy tofu.
It's terrible for you and contains palm oil. There are better alternatives.
Just read the quote below and imagine how would a food-processing company from a third-world country ever be able to compete? (no way).
"The tariff on orange imports is far from being the least justifiable of the EU’s many thousands of tariffs. Consider coffee. There are a number of different tariff schedules on coffee imports and the general idea underlying them is that raw materials get zero or very low tariffs, but the processed coffee imports that compete with EU coffee processors currently attract tariffs of up to 11.5 percent."
Here's a long thread, with references so you can fact check it, on this exact topic.