The Palm oil boom is having a major impact on the world. Palm oil plantations have been spreading across Indonesia and Malaysia for the past 30 years. Palm oil is the fastest growing edible oil crop in the world, and now supplies more than half of all edible oil consumed in the world. It is being used in the making of snack foods and even lipstick.
This boom has been accompanied by controversy. There has been concern raised over the use of Palm oil in household products such as margarine, shaving cream, lipstick, soap, margarine, frying oil, frying pans and even in anti-freeze. There are also health issues. Because palm oil contains high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat, people with high cholesterol or high blood pressure should not use it, as it can cause health issues. And now for a scary note, palm oil has been linked to lymphoma, and has been found to be carcinogenic.
Demand for healthier alternatives
With all the controversies, there has been a rise in the demand for healthier alternatives. One of these healthier alternatives is coconut oil. Coconut oil is obtained from coconut milk, and has a smoke point of 300 degrees F, making it without cholesterol, no cholesterol and no saturated fat. It is non-greasy and does not get rancid easily. This has led to the popularity of coconut oil in baking, food items and beauty products such as body wash and hair care products.
Sustainable palm oil
Sustainable palm oil refers to the type of oil that is grown on sustainable plantations without the use of chemicals or toxic pesticides. The plantations are managed in a manner that ensures the sustainable harvesting and preservation of the land for future generations. It is certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Rainforest Alliance is an international organization that helps protect tropical forests and forest peoples.
Certified sustainable palm oil is produced without using chemicals to manage land. The oil is grown in so-called Bamboo Plantations, or Rubber Plantations. Plantations in Bamboo are sustainable because they are grown in plantations using biodegradable materials, or in the case of rubber plantations, are grown on trees that have been treated with rubber trees have been chemically treated.
Rainforest Alliance helps communities around the world recognize the importance of preserving forests and forest peoples by providing them with information about their Bamboo Plantations and Rubber Plantations. In addition to providing communities with information about their plants, they also help communities obtain certificates from Rainforest Alliance to distinguish their plantations as “ecologically managed.” Communities can choose to be certified by the organization or be part of an unrelated organization that is certified. For instance, one community could be part of The Soehnlein Society, another part of the Rainforest Alliance, and yet another part of the Nature Conservancy.