Why Sustainable Food Companies (Like Us!) Avoid Palm Oil
Mighty Cricket and other sustainable food companies strive to implement business models that work in harmony with our natural environment. As much as we possibly can, we utilize practices that promote a thriving environment for future generations.
If you’ve read our previous posts (and thanks so much if you have), you know crickets are an incredibly sustainable form of protein. But our sustainable efforts don’t stop there.
Truly sustainable food companies don’t use palm oil in their products. Many common food products do contain palm oil and, unfortunately, it is rarely produced responsibly or sustainably.
What’s the problem with producing palm oil? It boils down to four issues: deforestation, pollution, wildlife, and communities.
What’s Wrong with Palm Oil Production?
Palm oil is harvested most heavily in Indonesia, and its rainforests have paid the price. According to the Rainforest Action Network, 2.4 million acres of Indonesian rainforest are lost every year, and that’s a conservative estimate. This deforestation is driving many species to extinction, hurting the economy of the local people, and taking away the trees that store tons of our carbon emissions.
A whopping 20% of landscape fires in Southeast Asia can be attributed to preparation for palm oil plantations. These fires often get out of control, spreading pollutants to nearby communities and putting people at risk for serious health issues. Nearby schools and businesses are forced to shut down, and even those living hundreds of miles away can be affected by the smoke and particulate matter from the fires.
Harmful Effects on Wildlife
Studies have shown that mammal diversity in palm oil plantations has decreased 65-90%, and in some places the plant and tree diversity is 99% less than in natural forests. Biodiversity is taking a huge hit thanks to corporate interests in palm oil plantations.
In particular, the critically endangered orangutan is struggling because its sensitive habitat has been impacted by expanding palm farms. Sadly, other animals like the Javan Tiger have already become extinct, and more species are at great risk of following suit.
Livelihoods at Risk
The loss of rainforests takes a toll on local communities. Beyond the pollution coming from oil production, pesticides and runoff from plantations are contaminating the water supply of nearby communities. Furthermore, in Indonesia, it’s been estimated that 99 million people depend on ecosystem services for their livelihood. These forests have sustained the people for centuries and are now being destroyed in a fraction of that time.
It’s in our Mission
We’re here to provide delicious, sustainable protein in a world that desperately needs sustainable innovation. How could we claim to be a sustainable food company if we supported the unsustainable practice of palm oil production? We couldn’t. And that’s why we will never use palm oil in our products.
So join us in our mission of sustainability and choose palm oil free products whenever possible.
How do you avoid palm oil or unsustainable products? Let us know in the comments, or connect with us on social media!