The Palm Oil Crisis
Shop Responsibly for Species Survival
Orangutans, Sumatran tigers and Sumatran rhinoceros all face an extreme risk of extinction within our lifetime, largely due to habitat loss from palm oil plantations.
Palm oil -- now the most widely produced edible oil -- is used in cosmetics, fuel and foods (like cereal, soup, frozen meals, or potato chips). When you eat packaged food, chances are you’re eating palm oil. Nearly 90 percent of palm oil is grown in the tropical countries of Indonesia and Malaysia. Today, Indonesia has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, with under half of the country’s original forest cover remaining.
Palm oil plantations are also taking their toll on the environment: large-scale rainforest destruction releases greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, significantly contributing to climate change.
With the demand for palm oil predicted to more than double by 2030 and triple by 2050, it’s time for action.
Here are a few things you can do:
- Shop responsibly: use the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping Guide in deciding what to put in your grocery store cart.
- Look for the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) trademark on products you purchase.
- Take action against corporations sourcing material from endangered forests. Learn more on the Greenpeace website.
- Call your political representative to advocate for the mandatory labeling of palm oil.
- Check out senior zookeeper, Ben Ouellette's blog and video below to learn more about this global issue.