The Problem With Palm Oil—Why We Don’t Use Palm Oil In Our Products


Whether or not you’ve heard about palm oil before, chances are you’ve probably already encountered it in some way. According to the World Wildlife Organization, “palm oil is a small ingredient in the U.S. diet, but more than half of all packaged products Americans consume contain palm oil.” It’s used in thousands of consumer products ranging from food to beauty products to biofuel. While it is a natural ingredient, there is controversy tied to this plant oil and the way it is produced.

What Is Palm Oil?

Palm oil is an edible oil derived from the fruit of oil palm. Oil palms are originally native to West Africa, where palm oil was traditionally used for cooking. It was later introduced to countries in East Asia, like Indonesia, and is currently cultivated in over 40 countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Palm oil can be made in two ways: by squeezing the fruit’s flesh, or by crushing the kernel, resulting in crude palm oil and palm kernel oil respectively. Its texture is very similar to that of coconut oil and slightly solidifies at room temperature.

Palm oil accounts for about 33% of all global oil production and, because it’s so productive, it yields more for a lower cost than other vegetable oils.

There are also many benefits associated with palm oil. In the beauty industry, for instance, it’s prized for its antioxidant power and capability to improve skin appearance and protect from free radical damage.

The Problem with Palm Oil 

Despite its versatility and benefits, palm oil is the most controversial of all plant oils. Palm oil plantations have replaced massive rainforests and gravely affected the biodiversity in the areas they’re cultivated. It’s estimated that, in countries like Indonesia alone, about 2 million acres of rainforest are lost each year to the cultivation of oil palms.  As a result, already endangered animal species risk extinction. It’s also linked to many human rights violations, as the production of palm oil has led to local community conflicts and labor concerns.

There are efforts, though, to make palm oil more sustainable. Some industries are switching to Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, which is palm oil produced with certain environmental and social criteria. The RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), which regulates this certification, states that “when they are properly applied, these criteria can help to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions.” 

Our Efforts

We strive to use eco-friendly alternatives to the best of our ability. In our efforts to be as sustainable as possible, we have omitted the use of palm oil in all of our products.

Back to blog