Vegan palm oil
Palm oil continues to be one of the fiercest hot topics for vegans and people concerned with environmental protection.
It is thought of as one of the most destructive crops on the planet and many vegans staunchly refuse to purchase products containing the oil crop.
Most of this talk focusses on palm oil production in southeast Asia due to extensive deforestation associated with the industry. Opponents cite loss of habitat and death to primates on a large scale as main reasons to campaign against the crop.
During my time at the Just V Show in London this weekend, I purchased the following jar of palm oil that just happened to be labelled with The Vegan Society trademark.
Here is what the AKOMA company says about their oil online:
AKOMA Authentic Palm oil has been produced in Ghana by a women’s Cooperative where forest destruction is not a common practice. Ghanaian palm oil has been used in traditional dishes for centuries and is part of the African diet.
Palm fruit grows at the top of the tree in bunches of about 700-900 palm fruits. A thin yellow and reddish skin covers the pulpy fruit which yields the Palm oil. Palm oil comes from this fruit, the oil has a higher unsaturated acid content than palm kernel or coconut oils.
It’s uniquely rich in natural pro-Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Lycopene, all of which are powerful anti-oxidants. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin, hair, teeth and good vision, while Vitamin E is important for maintaining a healthy heart and blood.
Akoma is proud to be a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) – the world’s leading organisation concerned with producing palm oil sustainably.
Would this be enough to convince you to buy products containing palm oil? Would a palm oil plantation on land in Ghana that was never rainforest be OK when it comes to supplying this crop?
Would switching to sustainable farming providers in Africa be beneficial to Asian rainforests or would this drive those producers to step up their production into overdrive in order to make more palm oil to sell at lower prices?
Is rejecting palm oil completely leading to the over-reliance on other farmed oils? Is a blanket rejection of palm oil creating other environmental catastrophes connected to coconut and alternative oils that we might not see the full extent of until it’s too late?
It is an incredibly complex situation with no simple solution.
Please post information and links below if you have insights to share on the production of palm oil in Africa. I am incredibly interested in furthering this conversation and finding out more.