This blog post came about as I was pondering over my discoveries about Palmoil.
Why is Palm oil the baddie?
As someone who's been selling eco-friendly, plastic-free, low-waste, and natural "everyday essential products," I've noticed that many of these products contain palm oil. Unfortunately, palm oil has a bad reputation in the eco-friendly world
While palm oil itself isn't necessarily bad for consumption, the way it's harvested can be detrimental to the environment. Malaysia and Indonesia are the world's largest producers of palm oil, accounting for 80% of the world's output.
Because of the huge global demand for palm oil, vast areas of palm tree forests are required, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia. These forests are home to a variety of wildlife, but the harvest process can be devastating. Harvesters set the bushes between the palm trees on fire and mechanically bring down the trees to extract the palm fruits. The crude palm oil generated from the collected palm fruits is then processed into consumable palm oil.
However, it's important to note that palm oil itself is not the bad guy. In Nigeria and many other African countries, the harvest process is very different. It took me a while to understand why palm oil had such a bad reputation in the eco-friendly world because in Nigeria, I've seen farmers tap into a palm tree to collect its sap to make a local wine (even though it destroys the tree). They also climb up to the top of each tree to manually harvest the palm fruits and carefully separate the shaft from the kernel (palm seed). The kernel is edible but mainly used as a fuel for outdoor cooking, together with the palm pulp. This is a very sustainable farming practice coupled with a healthy consumption habit.
The reason I'm writing this post is to help non-Africans/Asians understand that the problem isn't palm oil itself, but rather the process of growing, harvesting, and transporting it. We often deem things as bad without fully understanding the situation. Hopefully, this post will enlighten you when you need to make a judgment about other products.
Another example of a product with a bad reputation is plastic. While some people need plastic for health reasons, single-use plastic is harmful to the environment and our wallets in the long run.
About the Author:
I'm Babatunde, a top-performing executive with over 15 years of experience streamlining business activities and coaching teams for high efficiency. My focus is on improving corporate revenue and profit margins with a particular focus on the integration of sustainable business practices.