Palm Oil and Deforestation

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by Haley Yahyavi

Palm oil is an oil used as a preservative in almost everything you can find in a supermarket. From beauty products to food products, palm oil is in it all! Palm oil comes from the fruit of a palm tree. Besides extending the shelf time of products, palm oil causes extreme deforestation.

Farmers decided that the perfect place to plant palm trees for palm oil farms is in the rainforest, especially in Malaysia and Indonesia. They clear acres and acres of rainforest, demolishing natural habitats for wildlife. This pushes many endangered species in the direction of extinction. For example, the orangutan population decreases by 6,000 yearly and 80% of their habitat has disappeared. Also, in 2006, more than 1,500 orangutans were clubbed to death by farm workers.

Throughout the last 20 years, 3.5 million hectares (which is approximately 8.7 million acres) have been cleared to make way for palm tree farms. Because of this, carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere, resulting in global warming.
Palm oil has a major impact on our world and I strongly advise you to peek at the ingredients on the back of the products you are about to buy to be sure that you aren’t supporting palm oil production.

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