Since opening in 2014, The Gallery Wine & Tapas Bar made a conscious decision not to use GMO products or Palm Oil based products, if I have found any products to contain Palm Oil, I have taken it off the menu. Similarly, if any product has been found to be from an unsustainable source, I have replaced it or removed it.
So what exactly is Palm Oil?
Palm oil is a type of edible vegetable oil that is derived from the palm fruit, grown on the African oil palm tree. Oil palms are originally from Western Africa, but can flourish wherever heat and rainfall are abundant. Today, palm oil is grown throughout Africa, Asia, North America, and South America, with 85% of all palm oil globally produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia; but most of the time not using sustainable measures.
The industry clears an area the equivalent size of 300 football fields of rainforest each hour to make way for palm oil production. This large-scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction, and findings show that if nothing changes species like the orangutan could become extinct in the wild within the next 5-10 years, and Sumatran tigers less than 3 years.
In total, tens of millions of tons of palm oil is produced annually, accounting for over 30% of the world’s vegetable oil production. This single vegetable oil is found in approximately 40-50% of household products. Palm oil can be present in a wide variety of products, including baked goods, confectionery, shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning agents, washing detergents and toothpaste.
The areas razed to the ground include 25,000 hectares of habitations in Indonesia that are home to the critically endangered orangutan.
Many products that use palm oil aren’t clearly labeled. Palm oil and its derivatives can appear under many names, including:
FURTHER READING / ACTION:
Come along to The Gallery Film Club to view a collection of five short films about Palm Oil, followed by a discussion and further information on what it is and how to avoid it’s use.