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What is palm oil doing to our world?

Words by Olga Shevchenko, MSc Applied International Development.  


On Monday 18th March – Friday 22nd March, during lunchtime the 2018/2019 Environment & Ethics Officer Ellie Moore presented her campaign to raise awareness on the effects of palm oil in the RUSU foyer.  

She told me and my classmates how harmful the production of the palm oil is to Indonesian and Malaysian forests. At the same time, switching to other types of oil – coconut or rapeseed- could be also damaging because of the differences between their production conditions. She asked us to cut down on the consumption of palm oil, or search for ethical manufacturers of palm oil. 

My classmate, who is Indonesian, argued that in the affected country itself in Indonesia, to switch from palm oil would mean changing people’s diet and lifestyle, and this is not an easy thing to do. She said that in this case it would be necessary to work with the government to invoke policies to make the shift to more sustainable products and manufacturing, and even then, it would take a lot of time and effort. Not to say it could not be done, of course!  

If you’re interested in the issue, here’s the website Ellie recommends checking to find out more: https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/palm-oil-free-list 

About Taz Usher

Print Editor of The Spark Newspaper.

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