Palm Oil Is Now Also A Threat To Africa

Some studies estimate that by 2050, it will be necessary to quadruple the palm oil cultivation area to meet demand. This can be a real threat to the survival of many primates.
Palm oil is now also a threat to Africa

Palm oil is a popular ingredient that is a perfect example of how extremely processed foods can hide ingredients that harm both the environment and our health. This oil is known to cause jungle deforestation in India, and this has even reached as far as Africa.

The dangers of palm oil

This is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. This is because it is used not only in food, but also in cosmetics and cleaning products. Palm oil comes from the African palm, but 85% of the plantations are in Southeast Asia.

Palm oil not only threatens wildlife in Asia. In recent years, this plant – which originally comes from Africa – has returned to its mother continent in the form of new monocultures, in order to satisfy international demand.

Cultivating this oil consists of burning hundreds of kilometers of forest to start palm monocultures. These linear and usable forests have only one type of plant. Therefore, they have little life because, they have no ecological value.

Monoculture of palm for use of oil.

Africa, the next destination

Society seems increasingly aware of the use of these oils. According to new studies, however, it is necessary to quadruple the cultivation area for this product before 2050. This expansion would mainly take place on the African continent. A study from the University of Clark also says that the conservation of African primates would be impossible if more palm oil farms began to appear.

In recent months, we have seen how commercial interests have affected these animals. News similar to the one that the oldest national park in Africa is open to oil exploration, which makes the future of species such as the mountain gorilla scary. According to this study, nearly 200 species of African primates will be affected by palm oil expansion. Another interesting thing is that researchers have found that only 9% of the African continent is suitable for agriculture.

Farmed forest

Is it just palm oil?

You should remember that some companies use other products instead of palm oil. They do not want to be the target of consumer anger when they see images, such as those of orangutans that have been affected by these crops. But these oils are often replaced with other unhealthy products that harm the environment. For example, other vegetable oils that also require deforestation.

Processed products contain ingredients that are harmful to African wildlife because they are masked among dozens of ingredients. But even meat products and fruits, such as avocados and strawberries, can come from thousands of miles away or be threatening to parks.

So the problem is not just with palm oil. If you want your diet to be better for the environment, it is best to find fresh produce grown locally. This will keep your impact on nature as small as possible. Remember, however, that there are very few products that are as harmful as consuming palm oil because it requires burning forests to produce it.

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