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Every hour 300 football fields of precious remaining forest is lost in Malaysia and Indonesia to make way for palm oil plantations.
Most of us have heard of the major crisis related to palm oil and orangutans. There is a project you can hop on board with called “The Orangutan Project” which is doing everything it can to save these endangered species by stopping the cutting down of palm oil trees.
Here is their project:
“Indonesia is home to some of the most rich and biodiverse rainforest in the world.
It contains over 80 endemic species and some of the world’s most unique and iconic endangered wildlife such as the orangutan, elephant and tiger.
But these animals are in grave danger.
Every hour 300 football fields of precious remaining forest is being ploughed to the ground across South East Asia to make way for palm oil plantations.
Palm oil is used in everything from snack foods to soaps. It is found in over half all packaged items on our supermarket shelves.
In the last 20 years, over 3.5 million hectares of Indonesian and Malaysian forest have been destroyed to make way for palm oil.
Almost 80% of orangutan habitat has disappeared in the last 20 years.
We are losing over 6,000 orangutans a year.
There are now only 400 Sumatran tigers left in the world.
Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, having even surpassed soya in terms of usage. Surging global demand for palm oil has fueled massive forest destruction throughout Indonesia and Malaysia, countries that together account for 85% of the world’s palm oil production. Surprisingly palm oil is used in cosmetics and toiletries. On top of that it is an important ingredient in the manufacture of soaps, shampoos, detergents, and toothpaste. Increasingly, palm oil is used as a biofuel. Such a demand that keeps increasing, especially in biofuel will only further the extinction of species living in these forests.
Investigators have found that orangutans and other animals have been chased away from palm oil plantations in East Kalimantan, adding up to over 800 having been killed in only two years. How is it that mankind can continually keep sweeping out other species (and its own as a matter of fact) for manufacturing demands? Because these killings have not stopped and the men carrying out these killings see these animals as vermine, some workers have targeted great apes which are in great danger. “Some workers found an orangutan on the plantation,” he said. “The company paid them $100 (£64) for it. I don’t know what the company did with the ape, but they want them gone because they see them as pests.” (BBC)
“They will go extinct in the wild in perhaps five years,” said Arfiana Khairunnisa
How is this oil produced ?
There is a bright orange fruit hidden in the leaves of the palm tree. The fruit is jacked open and the oil is taken from the kernels inside.
Oil palms are able to produce fruit for harvest within 4 to 6 years of planting, if fertilized well. Life expectancy is 28 to 30 years on average, at which point they are usually 40 feet / 12 metres high and it becomes too hard to harvest the heavy fruit bundles using extension poles. 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. When the fruit is picked it is brought to a processing facility where the fruit must be softened before anything can be done. The first step is to ‘cook’ them for one hour with high-pressure, high-temperature steam (300 psi, 140 degrees Celsius). Once the fruit is steamed the kernel separates from the shell and becomes soft and oily which is then pressed.
There are many ways you can help fight this battle against palm oil. The first one is easy, simply check your ingredients on the packaging of what you are buying. AVOID palm oil and tell your friends about it. Companies will be hurt financially by the lack of consumerism of their products. This can cause for them to switch up their recipe. Second, do some research. It is so easy to find foundations that you can help by either contributing to their cause, or signing petitions, or go on a plantation and protest.
Argan Oil has not shown any signs of endangering our planet. It is a great substitute for many oil in cooking and for cosmetics. Stick to cruelty free and natural products.