Posts Tagged ‘plantations’

h1

Are your Skittles destroying the rainforest? Part 1

January 5, 2009

ross Ross Levin • Operation Itch Contributing Writer header
more in  NEWS & ANALYSIS  
See all posts from Ross Levin

Today, I’ve decided to start a series on palm oil and palm ingredients – and alternatives to them.  I’m in the process of building a website on the same subject, but that will take a bit of time, and time is not something worth wasting in this context.

One of the biggest populations of wild orangutans on Borneo will be extinct in three years without drastic measures to stop the expansion of palm oil plantations, conservationists say. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

One of the biggest populations of wild orangutans on Borneo will be extinct in three years without drastic measures to stop the expansion of palm oil plantations, conservationists say. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

A specific type of vegetable oil may not sound like a particularly interesting subject, but palm oil is no ordinary vegetable oil.  It is one of the more destructive forces on our planet today.  Or maybe I should say that the machine of people and corporations in place to grow and distribute palm oil is one of the more destructive forces on our planet.  Either way, consuming this ingredient – which is in an unbelievable amount of foods and cosmetics and other things – is something which makes one responsible for encouraging this. 

If you want some outside info, here’s a good place to start:  http://www.cspinet.org/…

Let’s start with a basic statement, and add more to it as we go:

The rainforest is being cleared at an alarming rate to make room for palm plantations.

The rainforest is being cleared at an alarming rate, particularly in Southeast Asia, to make room for palm plantations.

The rainforest is being cleared at an alarming rate, particularly in Southeast Asia, to make room for palm plantations.  Many species – both discovered and undiscovered – are being driven to extinction because of habitat loss.

The rainforest is being cleared at an alarming rate, particularly in Southeast Asia, to make room for palm plantations.  Many species – both discovered and undiscovered – are being driven to extinction because of habitat loss.  The most notable is the orangutan, which could become extinct within the decade because of deforestation in Malaysia, Borneo, and Indonesia.

Now you’ve got the gist of it.  Palm oil plantations – while providing a considerable amount of jobs and a product that is used in many places – are hurting our climate (through the burning of forest and the destruction of a carbon sink), the local environment, and even small landowners.  Take a look (below the break) at this recent AFP story:

Read the rest of this entry ?

Advertisements