March 4, 2024

Newly Popular Palm Oil Causing Deforestation

Palm oil, a medium-chain saturated fat, is becoming very popular in recent years. It is inexpensive, mildly flavored, and versatile. But palm oil harvest is causing massive deforestation and contributing to climate change. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is urging consumers to tell manufacturers to use deforestation-free palm oil, which is produced in an environmentally-acceptable way.

The problem is that large areas of tropical forests are cleared to plant palm plantations. That destroys critical habitat for endangered species such as tigers, elephants, orangutans, and rhinos. The forests are often burned, releasing massive amounts of carbon, which contributes to global warming and climate change.

UCS has developed a scorecard to show consumers how the 30 biggest companies scored on the use of palm oil that is deforestation-free, peat-free, traceable, and transparently sourced. The best food companies are Nestle, which makes Toll House products; Uniliver, which makes Ben & Jerry’s and Popsicle; and Mondelez, which makes Oreo, Ritz, and Nutter Butter. The worst food companies are Kraft, which makes Cool Whip and Jell-O; ConAgra, which makes Act II Popcorn and Marie Callender’s; and Pepsico, which makes Quaker products.

You can help by telling these corporations to use deforestation-free palm oil by signing the Union of Concerned Scientists’ action letter.


  1. Laura Dragonetti says

    Be responsible!

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