Why You Should Avoid Palm Oil Products
Not All Oils are Equal
As you wellness warriors already know, going organic and non-GMO is always the best option whether you are consuming the product or putting it on your body. But what you may not know is that not all plant oils are created equally, and I am not only referencing their health benefits, I include the environmental impact in harvesting one of Mother Nature’s jewels.
My sister and I are passionate about creating an organic, non-GMO, chemical free, safe for our human and furry kids and does not harm the environment product line that helps to nourish our bodies from the outside. WOW, that was a mouth full and a very TALL order. We research materials and competitors often and are surprise to see what ingredients go into the body products, including the local handcrafted ones!
Let’s talk palm oil. It is one of the cheapest oils on the market, so it’s affordable, very affordable. It is found in most foods and body care products, why? It’s cheap. There are continued debates regarding its health benefits, but there are no debates over its social and environmental impacts. The list is long, so I’ll get straight to the point. By purchasing products with palm oil, you contribute to the destruction of rain forests and other ecosystems that support the life cycle of orangutans, tigers, rhinos, elephants and more. The process to harvest palm oil creates the erosion of soil, water, air and soil pollution.
Now, one could argue that it helps provide jobs to underdeveloped communities, but if this economic benefit does not consider, plan and take action to protect the livelihoods and rights of the local communities, purchasing palm oil could also support poor working conditions, child labor, human rights violations and even the eviction of these people in their home villages.
Identifying palm oil is not always easy as it has several other ingredient names (see below) and are found in roughly 50% of products sold; both food and non-food commodities.
Due to the increase usage of palm oil in half of the products consumers purchase, sustainable palm oil is a newer approach to oil palm agriculture that targets to harvest palm oil without causing deforestation or harming people. However, this process has been under fire for several years from environmentalists and organizations who feel it is a green-washing scheme.
How can you help? Awareness and education. Read product labels. Purchase products with ingredients that are environmentally and economically sustainable. When searching for skin care and food products look for oils that are fair trade and responsibly sourced.
List of palm oil ingredient names:
Vegetable oil, vegetable fat, palm kernel, palm kernel oil, palm fruit oil, palmate, palmitate, palm olein, glyceryl, stearate, stearic acid, elaeis, guineensis, palmitic acid, palm stearine, palmitoyl oxostearamide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, sodium laureth sultfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium kernelate, sodium palm kernelate, sodium lauryl lactylate/sulphate, hydrated palm glycerides, etyl palmitate, octyl palmitate, palmityl alcohol, laureth-7, steareth-2, cocamide MEA (fatty acide-derived), cocamiede DEA (fatty acid derived), stearamidopropyldimethylamine, cetyltrimethylammonium chloride, isopropylmyristate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, fatty isethionates (SCI), alkylpolyglycoside (APG), laurylamine oxide.
Tara Raj,CPC, ACC, CNWC
Co-Creator & Owner