In the great palm oil debate, which is currently raging, amidst allegations of the pursuit of profit at the expense of sustainability, it seems that some kernels of truth have been lost along the way. Palm oil is a harmless, natural product in and of itself; it is the nature of human action which causes problems. This article explores the truth behind the crop and posits how perceptions can–and should–be changed towards it. It does not seek to minimise the risk to our planet posed by bad palm oil production, but it does propose that the picture is more nuanced than we have been led to believe. In short, not all palm oil production is bad. We need transparency and honesty if we’re going to effectively address the concerns of all types of people across the world–whether it be vegans, the organic movement, or those concerned about workers’ rights and poverty. Let’s take each of these one by one.
Palm can be grown for good, bringing benefits to:
Together, we can influence change for: