Date: 22nd Apr 2018 @ 9:12am


Hi, Mrs Axon-Milburn here, I have the pleasure of being the lead on our zoo project 2018 and thought I would use the blog to share some facts, figures, information and videos.

So... A little more about palm oil - The good and the bad


Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees.

Because palm oil is cheap and efficient, it is the world’s most widely used vegetable oil and global consumption is rising.

Palm oil is used in the production of foods such as cake, chocolate, biscuits, margarine and frying fats. It is also found in cosmetics, soap, shampoo, cleaning products and can be used as a biofuel. Up to 50% of products in an average UK supermarket now contain palm oil!

The good…

Oil palm trees are highly productive and the yield per square kilometre is higher than for any other edible oil. Growing oil palm trees is the most efficient use of land for oil, producing twice as much as coconut trees and over thirty times as much as maize. This means that palm oil has the potential to be very environmentally friendly if it is grown sustainably.

And the bad…

The demand for palm oil has resulted in the rapid and unregulated expansion of oil palm plantations, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia, where around 85% of the world’s palm oil is now produced. Vast areas of rainforest – once home to orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos – have been cleared to make way for oil palm trees. The new plantations contain just a fraction of the flora and fauna of rainforests and cannot sustain the native wildlife. As a result, animal numbers are falling fast.

Also, rainforests are often found on tropical peat soils. When the forests are cleared and peat lands drained to make way for Palm Oil plantations, carbon is released; contributing significantly to greenhouses gases in the atmosphere and global warming.


What is palm oil? - Click this link to watch a video from Chester Zoo

How can palm oil be more sustainable? - Click here to watch a video from the WWF

Palm Oil Sustainable Challenge - Click this link to watch a video from Chester Zoo



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