Why Palm Free
You can usually find us documenting our many Oklahoma adventures or exploring the southwestern United States but we also believe we have a social responsibility to think bigger. In 2016, we made the choice to make our entire product line completely palm oil free. Palm oil is obtained from the fruit of the African Oil Palm Tree and is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet. It can be found in almost half of consumable products from lipstick to pizza dough. In soap, it is known for its conditioning, moisturizing lather and adds hardness to each bar.
Unfortunately the benefits stop there. Although African oil palm trees are found in Africa, North America, Asia, and South America, 85% of the world’s palm is exported from large commercial plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia, using less than sustainable agriculture practices. These practices are the leading cause of death and habitat destruction for native Orangutans which play a vital role in the health of the tropical eco-system. Forests are cleared and then burned in order to prepare the land for planting often resulting in uncontrolled wildfires to surrounding areas. If the endangered wildlife is able to escape the flames, they often are found wandering into villages seeking shelter where they become easy prey for poachers. This large scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction, and findings show that if nothing changes, species like the Orangutan could become extinct in 5-10 years and the Sumatran Tiger in less than 3 years.
While the newly established Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is making some headway in preventing more devastation, certification is voluntary for producers of palm oil and it is limited in its capacity to enforce regulations. As consumers, even our smallest decisions each day can have an impact on our environment both locally and globally. If you’d like more information on palm oil, check out these sites:
Posted on Sat, May 20, 2017
by Amy Samuel