If you are like me you probably enjoy a bit of chocolate on the odd occasion (or even quite regularly!) One thing that has amazed me though is to find out that until recently Cadbury’s chocoate contained palm oil, as do many other products that I regularly purchase.  Apart from the fact that palm oil isn’t particularly good for your health, it also has a curious link to orangutans becoming endangered.

That is because much of the palm oil used in our grocery products comes from plantations that are growing on land that previously contained natural forest; the primary habitat for the orangutan.

Orangutans, found in Sumatra and Borneo, Indonesia, are now an endangered species and not helping their plight is the fact that between 2000 and 2005, the equivalent of 300 soccer fields an hour or 51 a day of forest were destroyed in Indonesia.

Some interesting facts:

  • Around 10% of items on our supermarket shelves contain palm oil
  • Every Australian consumes on average 10 kg of palm oil a year
  • It may not be be labelled as palm oil, but rather vegetable oil or other
  • Palm oil is high in saturated fats and is used to improve the texture and longevity of certain food products

Apart from the relationship between Indonesian deforestation, the possible extinction of Orangutan’s and the production of palm oil. There is also the real concern that this immense rate of deforestation is contributing to global warming trends as well as threatening the well-being and future of many animals and people based in these regions.

How do you know if you are consuming palm oil?

Other websites/articles of interest: