Essay: Approximately 50% of the products sold in supermarkets are made from palm oil.(1,4) It is needed in society because we frequently use and purchase products that include palm oil(1,4). Palm oil comes from the fleshy fruit of oil palms.(4) Palm oil is a highly versatile product, it is often used as a cooking oil,(8)included in animal feed in many countries,(8) and as a result of it being highly efficient,(1) many places use it as a biofuel(9). Palm oil is a very resourceful ingredient that is a semi-solid material, can remain spreadable, resistant to oxidation (which can also help prolong the shelf life of products)(1,8). It’s very stable at high temperatures, (give food products a crispy texture), It’s odorless, (no alteration).(1) This essay aims to show the effects of using products with palm oil, the impacts on the environment, along with solutions for improving consumer products.
This product can cause deforestation and increase the demand for products.(4) Unfortunately, it can also cause deforestation in developing countries.(4) In order to make palm oil products, palm trees and plants have to be destroyed to be used for the production of this ingredient.(1,4) Doing so, can cause various environmental problems.(1) Unfortunately, this impacts the environment because in order to make these products, all of the palm trees and plants that are used for cultivation have to be cut down.(2) The increasing number of palm oil plantations is contributing to the decline of some of the world’s most bio-diverse tropical forests.(4) These plantations support fewer species than the forests they are in, and they are also contributing to climate change.(4) Primary rainforests that are cleared for palm oil production are located on top of peat bogs, which are incredibly rich in carbon dioxide.(4) Burning these areas can release high levels of carbon into the air and cause fires underground.(4)
The palm oil production industry has grown rapidly within the last few years.(2) Aside from damaging the environment, the use of chemicals used in the production of palm oil has also been linked to the pollution of rivers and the poisoning of people and animals.(3) In most cases, land cleared for palm oil production is being burned using a slash and burn method.(4) This method can cause fires that can harm people and animals, as well as destroy the environment.(4) It is destroying the habitats of critically endangered species, such as the Sumatran rhino and the orangutan.(2,4) The loss of these forests also contributes to the accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.(4)This method also often results in fires that are out of control and harm the environment.(4) While land gets drier, the remaining forests continue to produce less fruit for wildlife.(4)
The destruction of the forests for palm oil production has led to the deaths of thousands of species annually.(9) The population of this critically endangered animal has decreased by about 50% percent in the last year.(9) This environmental destruction is expected to have a huge effect on global warming.(8,9) These ecosystems store more carbon than any other in the world. Burning the peats can release high levels of carbon into the air.(1,4) It can also cause underground fires. The chemicals used in the production of palm oil are also known to contaminate the water and the land. These emissions have also been linked to the deaths of various animals and people.(1)
Finally, it’s important to note that the products made from palm oil can contain traces of harmful chemicals.(4) When buying items or products, it is suggested to check the ingredient list.(3) It’s important that the companies that are involved in the production of this oil label their products with a sustainable label.(3,4)We can solve these problems by using sunflower oils, which are known to be more eco-friendly and have a higher yield of fatty acids.(6) This could potentially help prevent the deforestation of tropical forests.(7) Since this oil can be produced all around the world, it would take away the need for tropical forests.(6) Another solution that can be used to prevent the deforestation of tropical forests is by implementing an agroforestry system, which involves the use of agricultural land that’s mixed with other crops.(5,7) This method has been known to increase the diversity of the habitats on the land. In conclusion, the production of palm oil is incredibly damaging to the environment.(7) Palm oil consists of cutting down rainforests and millions of trees.(1) Most people don’t even know what palm oil is and how it impacts the environment around them. Palm oil is very important and used everyday by almost everyone these days. My essay is to prove the global impacts of palm oil production and what different solutions we could do to fix it.
Peer reviewed (7) https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0959652620339597?token=E6280B13FC5A9AC9EB631AB1DB6D70580F701AB151116CB24A52BDC74B1083D4B81AD28162492C322446AF8E23FC1C7B&originRegion=us-east-1&originCreation=20220518235123