We know that there are different types of oils, some are considered beneficial and others harmful according to the amount and consistency of their consumption.
One of the most named oils in recent times is palm oil, which has been a point of debate not only for its nutritional contributions, but also for its negative impact on the environment.
Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the species Elaeis guineensis, also known as African or oil palm, of African origin. Although its gastronomic use is important, its derivatives are also used in cosmetic products such as creams and soaps, and even for the production of biodiesel, as it is an inexpensive and versatile input, compared to other fats or oils.
This oil is rich in saturated fatty acids, which are linked to metabolic diseases, that is why some health institutions have recommended their reduction or elimination of the daily diet, such as the European Food Safety Authority, the World Health Organization and the Spanish Federation of Nutrition Societies , Food and Diet.
But how does it affect the environment? The massive cultivation of this species has led to deforestation, loss of habitats and an increase in polluting emissions, also linked to the destruction of millions of hectares of forest for planting, since almost all palm oil is grown in areas with forests tropical, affecting species such as the Bornean orangutan, the sumatran tiger and the birds of the Amazon. In fact, these crops almost completely wiped out the habitat of these apes.
Although Indonesia and Malaysia are the largest producers, with around 70 million tons a year, according to FAO data, in Mexico the cultivation of this species has begun to grow, putting tropical areas such as Chiapas, Campeche at risk and Tabasco.
In several countries, producers who use palm oil in their products have been asked to put this ingredient name on their packaging, as it is sometimes substituted with “saturated fat”.
What can you do to avoid the disappearance of species and their habitat derived from the use of palm? Read, ask and research the products, especially food, that you consume and prefer those that do not contain palm oil, to reduce their production. There are products with environmental certifications for palm oil, you can look for them and you will know that their production is sustainable.
Be a responsible consumer, take care of your health and help the environment.
COLLABORATION OF EARTHGONOMIC MÉXICO, AC
Our mission is to promote the development of society in harmony with the natural environment and respect for living beings.