23

Mar

Palm oil: World’s most hated and most used source of fat

2021-07-08

Palm oil is in everything — from cosmetics to food. Today there are enough oil palm plantations worldwide to cover an area larger than Kansas. Palm oil is everywhere today: in food, soap, lipstick, even newspaper ink. It’s been called the world’s most hated crop because of its association with deforestation in Southeast Asia. But despite boycott campaigns, the world uses more palm oil than any other vegetable oil – over 73 million tons in 2020. That’s because palm oil is cheap. The plant that makes it, the African oil palm, can produce up to 10 times more oil per hectare than soybeans. But as my new book on palm oil’s history shows, this controversial commodity hasn’t always been cheap. It became that way thanks to legacies of colonialism and exploitation that still shape today’s industry and that make it challenging to shift palm oil onto a more sustainable path. From slavery to skin care Palm oil has long been a staple food in a region stretching from Senegal to Angola along Africa’s western coast. It entered the global economy in the 1500s aboard ships engaged in the transatlantic slave trade. Read more… https://theprint.in/opinion/how-palm-oil-became-the-worlds-most-hated-and-most-used-fat-source/685398/