How being picky on your grocery run could help fight deforestation
This article was published in partnership with the RSPO.
gGrocery shopping can involve building a list while trying to compare brands on the basis of price, quantity, quality, etc.
But, while many of us are trying to get the best deal on brands, how many of us are checking out the key ingredients?
The truth is that even the simple choice to buy chocolate is intrinsically linked to the fate of our planet, because 40 percent of global deforestation is linked to commodities.
An earlier report from The Better India confirms that over 50% of the essentials consumed daily, from your bowl of ice cream and instant noodles to your toothpaste, contain palm oil, an edible vegetable oil produced by palm trees. oil.
However, obtaining it usually results in heavy deforestation, the displacement of native communities and a significant loss of biodiversity: endangering species such as orangutans, pygmy elephants, the Sumatran tiger and the Sumatran rhino, if it does. is not produced sustainably. That said, it is also important to note that boycotting all palm oil products risks cause more harm than good.
There is a way out of this situation, and that is by making conscious decisions to buy products that contain only certified sustainable palm oil.
While the unsustainable cultivation of palm oil is responsible for damage to the environment, when produced in a sustainable manner, it can stop deforestation, conserve biodiversity, improve the livelihoods of smallholders and reduce exploitation of indigenous communities.
Moreover, no other crop can succeed in producing even a third more than oil palms per acre planted.
Being one of the most valued raw materials, oil palm cultivation requires less time and less earth than any other source of vegetable oil.
According to the report of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) entitled Oil palm and biodiversity, when grown sustainably, oil palm can be an efficient crop from a land use and biodiversity perspective, and help protect natural ecosystems – especially the equatorial forests in South Asia. South East.
There is a persistent misconception that palm oil production is the main driver of global deforestation; a report in ‘The conversationÂ»Explains that if agriculture is the main cause of deforestation, oil palm plantations only represent 8% of the deforestation attributed to agricultural crops. Deforestation caused by oil palm represents 2.3% of the 239 million hectares of forests lost between 1990 and 2008, he adds.
More nuanced discussion and research is needed to develop lasting solutions and correct misinformation. It is an effort of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a certification system responsible for setting standards for the production of sustainable palm oil.
The RSPO shows that the problem is not the crop itself, which has various uses and benefits, but how and where it is planted and processed. As a consumer, you can contribute more to their goals by knowing the ingredients of each product. The RSPO trademark can be found on products that contain sustainable palm oil, ensuring that the palm oil used is environmentally friendly.
A movement demanding sustainable palm oil is already underway and has led a total of 117 major companies to use only 100 percent certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) in their products. But this is only the beginning. You too can join this crusade. On your next visit to a supermarket or when ordering online, be sure to watch the RSPO brand logo and check the ingredients of the product you are purchasing, and choose only products that contain RSPO oil. certified sustainable palm. Be part of the #KnowYourPalm initiative and join the RSPO, along with The Better India, to make a real difference.
Take a commitment today to become a responsible consumer and use social media to ask your favorite ice creams, chocolates, noodles, cookies, snacks, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other brands if they use certified sustainable palm oil. By just being a little more informed and choosing the right product, you can contribute to global environmental sustainability and tackle irresponsible deforestation.