Palm Oil Free
SAVING THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND ANIMALS OF THE RAINFOREST

As a company, Simply Sesame seeks to balance various environmental and social concerns that will lead to a cleaner and better planet. We believe by doing so, we add value to our employees, customers and partners. One way we are making the planet a better place is by producing our products without palm oil!

The palm oil industry is one of the biggest threats to the indigenous people and animals that live and thrive in the rainforest. In Malaysia and Indonesia, palm oil production has destroyed vast areas of rainforests and has left the indigenous people and animals displaced and impoverished.

Now, palm oil growers have turned their attention to the rainforests of Central Africa where millions of acres are imminently threatened. Palm oil can be found in a wide variety of products, including: baked goods, snack foods, ice cream, instant noodles. chocolates, cookies, margarine, pizza dough, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning agents, washing detergents and toothpaste.

The oil palm tree is a tropical plant that grows best where rainforests thrive. It’s reported that every hour an area of 300 football fields are slashed-and-burned to make way for palm plantations.

*Here are five things Simply Sesame wants you to know about palm oil agriculture and the destruction it is causing:

1.  Palm oil heavily contributes to deforestation.
Crane


The palm oil industry plays a large role in human induced climate change as palm oil plantations have cleared some of the worlds most precious, carbon capturing forests. For instance, in 2009 nearly 30 percent of Indonesia’s reported carbon emissions were the result of deforestation.

Leveling forests not only impacts the climate, but poses a very immediate threat to endangered species that live in these tropical areas.

 2. Palm oil is driving Orangutans to extinction.
Orangutan


Scientists predict that the fragile orangutan population could become extinct within our lifetime if we continue to destroy their home and natural habitats for palm oil plantations.

In the past 10 years, the orangutan population of Sumatra and Borneo has decreased by over 20,000. This sharp decline coincides with a growing demand for palm oil in the U.S. Between 1990 and 2010, the average quantity of palm oil consumed in the United States increased by 2000 million pounds.

The Orangutan Conservancy estimates that orangutans have lost over 80 percent of their natural habitat in the last 20 years.

 3. Palm oil is driving other endangered species toward extinction too.
Tiger


Orangutans are not the only animals that are at risk of extinction. Only about 400 tigers are left on the island of Sumatra. In 1978, there were estimated to be 1000. Sumatran rhinos are also disappearing with population numbers equally less than 200. The expansion of palm oil has introduced humans into parts of the rainforest that had been untouched for hundreds of years. As more roads are built and protective trees are leveled, elephants are being targeted at higher percentages for ivory, another indirect consequence of the palm oil industry. It is estimated that only 2,500 elephants remain in Sumatra.

 4. Palm oil as an industry is riddled with human rights abuses.
Girl


Among the 3.7 million people who work in the palm oil industry, thousands are child laborers forced to work. According to a report in Business Week, many workers are pulled into the industry through debt bondage or taken by human traffickers. Congruently, traffickers who are caught face few sanctions from government or business authorities.

5. Palm oil is just not good for you — plain and simple.
Heart


Palm oil is high in saturated fats. After trans fats were banned from snack foods, many companies began to use palm oil as a “healthy” alternative. Turns out, palm oil is bad for you too. A study that followed people who ate a diet rich in palm oil for five weeks saw an increase in their LDL cholesterol levels – very similar to what occurs when people consume trans fats.

We hope you’ll think twice before buying products that are made with palm oil. As consumers, we have the power to drive change in the palm oil industry. Together, as one, we can make a difference and save the indigenous people and animals of the rainforest.

 

*The five palm oil points were written by One Green Planet.

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