What I am stopping myself from doing

In recent weeks, I have been trying my hardest to stop myself from eating products containing palm oil. Of course, this has proven very difficult as a lot of brands use palm oil in their products. I mean, a LOT. I have found myself walking around a lot of shops, picking stuff up, and then almost always putting it back down. Although one person may not make all the difference in the world, I still want to take a step in the right direction to protect the habitats of many suffering animals.

My initial stand against palm oil started with the Iceland advert, which was banned from British TV. In short, the advert shows the devastating affects of palm oil on orangutans. The first product that I know used palm oil was Nutella, so I instantly stopped eating the one in my cupboard, and instead gave it away to my flatmates as they didn’t let me chuck it. However, I realised that just stopping eating Nutella doesn’t do much as it is one brand, and one food out of thousands, and if there is any impact made from me, I should boycott all snacks (or as many as I am able to) to make a difference.

Brands in the UK such as Cadbury, Goodfellas and Warburtons all use palm oil in their products. Nestle have agreed to use eco-friendly palm oil in their products, and as part of this have made commitments to protecting forests and petlands, as well as providing full disclosure on their products of where the palm oil comes from. Since 2013, most bigger companies in the UK like Tesco have been trying to find substitutes for palm oil. The USA have been aiming to do the same.

Palm oil is mostly used in crisps, chocolate and baked goods like bread and cookies. Its slowly becoming used as biofuel. In Borneo, it has caused a devastating impact on the rainforest and its inhabitants. For this reason, I want to do my part in stopping consuming products which contain palm oil, as it is killing our planet as well as many helpless animals. Animals such as tigers, elephants and rhinos are also affected. Animals in Malaysia and Indonesia suffer the most from the use of palm oil. In Indonesia, it accounts for 11% of its export earnings.

Although its been difficult to keep track of what I eat and what contains palm oil and doesn’t, next year I want to try my best to stop eating products containing it. This will also help fuel my healthy eating, as a lot of snacks contain palm oil, so I am helping myself as well as keeping a cleaner conscience. To me, although one person right now may not make a difference, I hope that one day it will, and palm oil will be sourced safely and environmentally friendly.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas, and enjoy the New Year!

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