If you take a look at the ingredient lists of items such as Cheez-its, frozen pizzas, Little Debbie products, and even certain lipsticks, you are likely to find one similar substance listed: palm oil. Sometimes listed as vegetable oil, palmitate, sodium kernelate, and more, it can be found in rainforests in the tropics, according to World Wildlife Foundation. Although it provides us with a plentiful and easily obtainable source of vegetable oil, acquiring it in a cheap many typically involves deforestation. This is because even in areas where it does not grow naturally, other sections of forests are cleared to make room for palm oil plantations, which unfortunately damages the earth and hurts the animals living upon it. Thanks to palm oil, countless animals such as orangutans, elephants, tigers, and others, have been left without a home. Many of the remaining animals have been pushed onto the endangered species list, with their populations decreasing dramatically.
If we wish to help animals and our environment, we can take at least one step towards that goal by reducing the amount of palm oil we use. Close to half of of packaged products contain the ingredient, including cosmetics, cleaning products, ice cream, cookies, and bread. However, sustainable palm oil is something to look for in Nutella and Girl Scout Cookies that is a more humane alternative to the real deal. This palm oil is grown in a manner that reduces the amount of deforestation and habitat loss, and many producers have been switching over to this type. In this day and age, with so many people worried about the future of planet earth, it is important that we contribute to conservation movement by carrying out promises such as reducing the palm oil in our lives.