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Polymathy1 t1_iub2pjr wrote

This is why I want to hulk smash every product I see that says "sustainable palm oil". There is no such thing.


NightflowerFade t1_iuc5jkh wrote

On the contrary, you can consider most palm oil to be as sustainable as it gets. Given that demand stays constant, palm oil is one of the most efficient oils to produce. Any alternative will be more damaging than palm oil.

The issue is the level of demand rather than the medium to satisfy the demand.


Polymathy1 t1_iuc79nk wrote

No, the issue is that like 90% of palm oil production is from slashed rainforest.


NightflowerFade t1_iucpfiq wrote

Right, but in order to decrease production of palm oil you need to either decrease demand or increase supply of other types of comparable oils. I'm saying that substituting palm oil for any other type of oil will incur a higher human and environmental cost in some way or other.


Polymathy1 t1_iudqnuz wrote

There are few to no equivalent oils. Pig lard is close, but nobody wants that in their peanut butter...

We could decrease demand by banning it outright. It's unnecessary, and this greenwashing makes people think it's not harmful.


worotan t1_iucrm3s wrote

No, because other oils aren’t produced in such a rapaciously destructive manner.


NightflowerFade t1_iucudi0 wrote

That's because the volume of production of other oils is much less. Producing the same volume of oil from other sources will consume up to 20 times the land while depriving the local community of their livelihood.

At the end of the day, I think immediate human outcomes should take priority over future sustainability considerations. Although the cost of environmental destruction should be built into the cost of goods through consumer choice, the sheer efficiency of palm oil production makes it the ideal oil producing crop.

Moreover, rainforests benefit everyone in the world but the opportunity cost of maintaining them (compared to the benefit of clearing the land for economically productive usage) is entirely on the host country. This applies to SEA and Brazil, when Reddit was outraged by the Amazon logging a few years ago. If the rest of the world enjoy the benefits of forests and biodiversity, it only makes sense for governments to pay the host countries part of the lost economic value from clearing forest land.


butts____mcgee t1_iucx1vh wrote

You're missing the point


Polymathy1 t1_iudqsok wrote

What do you mean?

Companies lie and mislead consumers. Greenwashing is just one of the more recent ways to do that.


kilranian t1_iucfugu wrote

Orangutans are nearly extinct in the wild, because of our love of palm oil.


DiceStrike t1_iud17ke wrote

Same as fair trade coca - Cadbury where caught out earlier this year using child labour


Polymathy1 t1_iudr6k6 wrote

To be honest, it's hard to find cacao that doesn't involve child labor because cacao (and coca as in cocaine :/ ) is mostly coming from countries with extreme poverty and poor to absent schooling.