Why You Need To Boycott Products Containing Palm Oil!

If I say these words, Palm oil, Palm fruit oil, Palmitic acid and Palmitate would you know what these are and the damage the farming of this product is doing to the world? Probably not. This huge industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty in the countries where it is produced, as the land and forests are cleared for the development of the palm plantations.

A Palm oil firm in Peru plan to clear 23,000 hectares of the used to be thriving Amazon; this is why the Sumatran Orangutan’s population has decreased by 50% in the past 10 years! When a Palm firm clears 1 hectare or about 2 and a half square acres of forest; it can release more than 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the air. It also creates “easy access” for poachers into exposed habitats. If nothing is done to protect the Sumatran Tiger’s habitat or combat poachers it is estimated that this amazing species will be extinct in 3 years! Also the African forest elephant’s population has decreased by a whopping 62% in the last 10 years, and is estimated extinct in a further 10!

It becomes too hard to harvest the heavy fruit bundles using extension poles so the palms are injected with pesticide, which kills the tree from within, and eventually they get bulldozed in order to make room for new oil palms. Does this sound acceptable?


If you think refined sugar from sugar cane is bad for you, then you should listen up! Studies done by the United States Department of Agriculture show that Palm oil has negative effects on cholesterol and apolipoprotein which is a protein attached to fat particles that carry LDL throughout the bloodstream. This can cause heart disease. In 1 tablespoon of Palm oil it contains 55% of our daily recommendation for saturated fat!

Palm oil is in anything from food, drink, shampoo, lipstick and the list goes on. The problem is that the labelling laws in New Zealand and Australia don’t require Palm oil to be identified as Palm oil. Peanut, Sesame and Soybean oil are the only oils that have to be properly identified as they are allergy-related. All other vegetable oils can be labelled under vegetable oil, including Palm oil, often you will be completely unaware that the food you buy even contains palm oil. Your Nutella addiction is destroying our environment!

How can you help?

In 2013 the world consumed 55 million metric tons of palm oil, nearly four times what it consumed 20 years earlier. You might be asking, how can I help? You can help by constantly looking on the labels of food, and where possible, not buy those foods or buy foods with a RSPO certified label on it. If the Sumatran Orangutan dies out, that will mainly be from the production of palm oil. Do you think that such an innocent animal should die because of our consumer ‘needs’?.

RSPO certification

RSPO certified palm oil, what is it? Palm oil that is grown and certified against the 8 RSPO principles and criteria with evidence. This sustainability criteria relate to social, environmental and economic practice within the production. They are reviewed every five years with public consultation on any changes or additions. This criteria also suits any product in being sustainable.

WWF said it would endorse the new criteria and called it a step in the right direction. Since they have also added: “It is, unfortunately, no longer possible for producers or users of palm oil to ensure that they are acting responsibly simply by producing or using Certified Sustainable Palm Oil” In a very controversial industry, like this, I think that is is just best to stick on the safe side and avoid palm oil products altogether. What are your thoughts on this?

Most common alternative names:

Did you know that palm oil has over 200 alternative names which are used on food packaging! I’m not going to mention all of them, just the top 25. Some of these such as vegetable oil may not be palm oil in a specific product. The best way to find out is to enquire with the company of a product.

  • Elaeis guineensis
  • Etyl palmitate
  • Glyceryl
  • Hydrogenated palm glycerides
  • Octyl palmitate
  • Palm fruit oil
  • Palm kernel
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Palm stearine
  • Palmate
  • Palmitate
  • Palmitic acid
  • Palmitoyl oxostearamide
  • Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3
  • Palmityl alcohol
  • Palmolein
  • Sodium kernelate
  • Sodium laureth sulfate
  • Sodium lauryl lactylate/sulphate
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sodium palm kernelate
  • Stearate
  • Stearic acid
  • Vegetable fat
  • Vegetable oil
Using products from companies that do not promote the use of Palm oil can help prevent some of the world’s most amazing plant an animal species from losing their habitats to the expansion of oil palm plantations throughout Southeast Asia. ‘Everytime you spend your money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want”- Anna Lappe

Founder + Blogger

Hey there! I'm Brodie, the passionate blogger behind Ethically Engaged. My mission is to find ethical lifestyle options to lead you in the direction of conscious consumerism. I hope you enjoy coming along this journey with me x

  1. Such a great, informative post!! The palm oil industry is truly terrifying! I will never understand why industries that are clearly so damaging to the environment AND its inhabitants are allowed to continue production??? Palm Oil- clearly bad, plastic- clearly bad, Industrial chemicals- clearly bad. It is all about the money!! Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you so much! It really is and something people need to hear more about! I totally agree, how can companies live with themselves- it truly is just so inhumane.I guess money is all those big brands want 🙁

    1. Thank you! It is a really important topic that needs to be spoken more about, because just talking about it raises the need for companies to change.

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