A journal of running, healthy food, mountains, bikes and technology by Julia Revitt


Palm oil is an ingredient in many of our packaged/processed foods. It is not healthy and it is responsible for the habitat destruction of the Sumatran Orangutan, Sumatran tiger & Asian rhinoceros and could ultimately be responsible for their extinction.

Palm oil is high in saturated fat and is used in everything from biscuits, soap, diesel and biofuels – it’s even a component of napalm!

The palm oil plantations in South East Asia are responsible for widespread destruction of the environment as they rip out the natural rainforests and peat bogs and replace them with mile after mile of palm oil plantations.  Research has shown that palm oil can cause heart disease and increase cholesterol levels.  There really is no good news in palm oil.

There is a campaign known as RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) which was launched in 2001 to look at sustainable ways to produce palm oil and some big names such as Tesco have signed up to it.  The RSPO is a weak initiative with little influence on the main issues just giving lip service to the green issues – companies that have signed up to it are still buying their palm oil from suppliers directly responsible for deforestation.

Yet palm oil is everywhere.  You cannot even be sure if you are eating it as some companies just list it as ‘vegetable oil’ on their labels.  There are 2 things you can do to help stop this right now;

  1. Read the packaging of food items (and personal hygiene items) and stop buying anything with palm oil as an ingredient.  Let any the supermarket customer services department know that you’ve stopped buying any own brand products which contain palm oil.
  2. Join Greenpeace’s campaign against the palm oil industry

Together we can make a difference but only if we care enough to act.  Fingers crossed we can help the animals and forests of South East Asia and improve our health at the same time!