Palm oil in foods and soaps promotes deforestation

アブラヤシの森、パームオイルenvironment issues

Palm oil is used in a variety of foods, soaps, detergents, cosmetics and more. It is especially often used in sweets. Palm oil, a vegetable oil and fat extracted from oil palm fruit, is said to be a saturated fatty acid and unhealthy.

The display of palm oil makes my chest hurt and I have a story to remind me of, so I wanted to introduce it.

Palm oil production


Palm oil is the most produced vegetable oil in the world. The production is about 60 million tons, accounting for 30% of the total vegetable fat production. This production is increasing. (From

Among biodiesel, a fuel derived from rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, and palm oil, palm oil power generation has various problems such as deforestation and global warming. The fuel palm oil was banned. However, Japan is actively accepting palm oil power generation and is rather increasing.

Dense forests around the world are decreasing rapidly.

We opened up 27 million hectares of untouched dense forest and cultivated a kind of specific tree on a large scale.

5 hectares of palm oil can be taken from 1 hectare of other oils. Therefore, it can be collected more efficiently.

It is said to be the largest agricultural revolution since the development of rice cultivation.

It is an oil palm boasting one of the best amounts of fats and oils in plants. Such monocultures do not maintain the diversity found in dense forests and many animals are extinct

Netflix:Our Planet
Netflix:Our Planet

Looking at the picture above, you can see that it is an environment where living creatures are unlikely to live.

There is no place for animals to hide because they are planted tidily and there are few other plants besides oil palm.

Of course, few plants can be eaten.

Vegetable fats Palm oil is a saturated fatty acid widely used in foods and soaps


The fruit of oil palm is palm oil, which is used in various foods such as fast food, fried oil for side dishes, sweet bread, potato fries, cakes, cookies, cup noodles, chocolate, margarine, and shortening. It is often written as vegetable oil. However, rapeseed oil and soybean oil are also displayed as vegetable fats and oils.

The reason why it is used in many foods is that it is a versatile oil that can be used when it is hardened or melted, and when it is fried, it is crispy.

Other than that, it is also contained in soaps, cosmetics, and detergents. Display names are oleic acid, glycerin, fatty acids, etc.

Demand for palm oil is increasing because it is convenient. From 1995 to 2015, the amount of consumption increased from 15.2 million tons to 62.6 million tons, quadrupling in 10 years. It is said that by 2050, it will further increase fourfold to 240 million tons. At present, it is said that, on average, the world consumes 8 kg per person per year. (2018.BBC)

Trans fatty acids have been shown to have adverse effects on the body, but palm oil is not good for your health.

Palm oil is a saturated fatty acid. Coconut oil, lard and butter are also classified as saturated fatty acids. These harden at room temperature.

The oils that are said to be healthy are unsaturated fatty acids.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a research report that “palm oil is not a healthy alternative to trans fatty acids for food business operators.”

The life that palm oil takes is an endangered orangutan


In swamp forests in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, species with ancestors closest to humans are near extinction.

It’s an orangutan. It takes a child 10 years to become independent.

The oil palms cannot support the weight of orangutans, so they cannot move through the trees. Therefore, you may not be able to move to your friend because you will be divided.

When such orangutans are found, people are using anesthetic guns on them to move them to national parks or areas of rich forests.

Over the last 40 years, the pristine jungle inhabited by orangutans has decreased by a whopping 75%.

In addition to orangutans, there is concern about the decline of endangered species such as Borneo elephants and Sumatran tigers.

Around 15 million hectares of dense forest, a treasure trove of diversity, disappears every year in the world.

Dense forest loss leads to various problems such as species loss, forest fires and global warming


Natural selection eliminates the predominance of a species of organisms and maintains the amazing diversity of dense forests. However, due to large-scale logging, its diversity is being lost.

Although tropical rainforests occupy only 7% of land, they are blessed with biodiversity and inhabit 50% of the earth’s species. The production of palm oil is eroding its biodiversity. (2019.the Gurdian)

There is a risk of leading to a large-scale forest fire because slash-and-burn is done when securing land.

In addition, there is no other habitat on the ground that stores and absorbs carbon dioxide as much as dense forest.

Dense forests have the effect of cooling the earth and provide us with food and medicine.

By eliminating it, humans commit suicide.


In response to this problem, companies using palm oil have begun to release new products that do not use palm oil.

Recently, the number of palm oil-free sweets and foods has increased, and you can now easily buy them at convenience stores.

The picture below is potato chips without palm oil in a convenience store. The reverse side carefully describes the adverse effects of palm oil.

Instagram @plamoilresearch Japanese potato chips


“Discretion is often the most useful compared to any other intellectual property.”

I don’t think this word is discreet for people alone.

I think it applies to wild animals that are deprived of their homes, lack food and die, and livestock that are treated violently and end their lives only in a few steps.

When I see the palm oil use label on my product, I remember about orangutan and my chest hurts.

We are now required to look at the world and act, rather than just focusing on the life in front of us. Because humans are at the top of living things, they can comprehensively grasp things and take action for the earth.

We are the ones who have made the Earth so bad that we can only bring it back.


I hope that each person’s change of consciousness will eventually make a big move and come back to the earth!

Reference:Netflix「Our Planet〜Jungle」