Understanding Palm Oil: The Pros and Cons of Palm Oil

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 11:46 AM

“Palm oil may be a booming global commodity. But economists and environmentalists remain sharply divided over whether the oil helps slow global warming or is in fact a major climate killer.”


Pros:
  • Palm Oil generates 10 times the amount of energy that it consumes.
  • It is said that palm oil can help to reduce poverty since it generates returns of over $3,000 per hectare vs. $100 for conventional agriculture.
  • Researchers believe that the high antioxidant of red palm oil makes it a natural weapon against cancer.
  • Palm oil makes excellent cooking oil and doesn't lose valuable nutrients when it’s heated.
  • Palm oil is a source for biofuels and bio diesel used for power plants and other renewable energy purposes throughout the world.
  • Palm fruit is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients.


Cons:
  • Since palm oil is in such high demand, rainforests the size of 5 football fields disappear every minute.
  • Rain forests are being eroded to make way for palm oil plantations.
  • 83% of the world’s palm oil is produced in Indonesia and Malaysia meaning in 15 years 98% of their rainforests will disappear because of deforestation.
  • When palm oil forests are cleared large amounts of carbon dioxide is released making Indonesia the 3rd largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world.


It’s important for us to understand both sides of the ongoing situation before coming to a conclusion. Producing palm oil may have many pros but are those reasons worth the deforestation of our rainforests and increased carbon dioxide in our world? Or, can we afford to sacrifice some of our rainforests to reduce poverty and possibly prevent cancer?

Find out more about palm oil here:

  • Share:

You Might Also Like

10 comments

  1. Any commodity that results is the loss of species (one of which is a closely related great ape) is clearly wrong. Why is that hard to see. Are we so desperate for jobs and money that we are willing to kill for it? I can't believe we are ven discussing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well you must consider it from a different perspective. Would starving people in poverty(the ones that will get food and jobs from palm oil plantations)care about these problems? Rephrasing it, would you care, if the possibility of starving to death is right around the corner? Though i must agree with you that threatening species is wrong and should be stopped. I am just pointing out the possible reasons why people might consent to such things. :)

      Delete
    2. Try telling that to all of the families who's livelihood depends on that product. I'm not standing up for palm oil but it is also worth speaking about the fact that it is a product that supports thousands of families across the globe. This product can be harvested very sustainably. Blame the slash and burn methods of mass farming that have been implemented by white colonialists. Don't judge too hastily.

      Delete
    3. Even if we place a ban on production of palm oil in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, that wouldn't solve the problem of deforestation. In many cases, the production of palm oil is an environmentally friendly alternative to other land uses, like city development and pastureland, which we can see the effects of in countries like Brazil. Though palm oil does destroy habitat for megafauna like orangutans and pigmy elephants, palm plants can at least provide temporary habitats for small mammals and birds which wouldn't survive otherwise. If I were to change the palm oil industry in one way, I'd make it so that more proceeds go to farmers and smallholders instead of greedy corporation managers. This would allow them (the farmers, that is), to make more eco-friendly decisions with their land. Never forget; as much as you might care about rainforests here in the U.S., Indonesian and Malaysian locals care about it more. This is their home and their cultural history, and it's not by choice that they cut it down. With their cooperation, it's possible rainforests could survive through the next century.

      Delete
    4. What about the native tribes who live in the rainforests and are having their homes and livelihood stripped away, watching as invaders slowly rip their home apart? If our population wasn't so high we wouldn't have problems like poverty. If we learnt to keep our legs shut or use contraception then we wouldn't be fighting for resources and could live happily along side nature rather than destroying it.

      Delete
  2. Thanks so much for this informative article, I am also doing a essay on pros and cons of palm oil for school and this has helped me a lot! Thanks again for taking time to write this, its been so much help!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha same hi phoebe

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you so much this site has been the best site I've found on this topic I am doing this for an school at essay and it is amazayn xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phoebe..no...just no.

      Delete
    2. hahahahahahaha lol

      Delete