Big brands breaking pledge to not destroy forests: report

A rainforest area the size of Spain will be destroyed by firms growing consumer staples like palm oil in the decade to 2020, industry's self-imposed deadline to end deforestation, Greenpeace said Tuesday.

Three elephants found poisoned in Malaysia

Three elephants were poisoned to death near a palm oil plantation in Malaysia, officials said Friday, in the latest case of the endangered creatures being killed near human settlements.

Lawyer fighting palm oil among six to win environmental prize

When Alfred Brownell arrived in a remote Liberian village, the surrounding tropical rainforest had been leveled by bulldozers. Burial grounds were uprooted, religious shrines were desecrated and a stream people depended upon ...

Malaysia plants hope for palm oil's future in dwarf trees

Test tubes holding plants line shelves in a Malaysian laboratory, the heart of a breeding programme for dwarf palm oil trees which scientists hope will cut costs and limit the environmental damage caused by the controversial ...

The double-edged sword of palm oil

Widespread cultivation of oil palm trees has been both an economic boon and an environmental disaster for tropical developing-world countries. New research points to a more sustainable path forward through engagement with ...

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Palm oil

Palm oil is an edible plant oil derived from the fruit and kernels (seeds) of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis. Palm oil is naturally reddish because it contains a high amount of beta-carotene (though boiling it destroys the carotenoids and renders the oil colourless). Palm oil is one of the few vegetable oils relatively high in saturated fats (like coconut oil) and thus semi-solid at room temperature.

The oil is widely used as a cooking oil, as an ingredient in margarine, and is a component of many processed foods. It is also an important component of many soaps, washing powders and personal care products, is used to treat wounds, and also controversially as a feedstock for biofuel.

Palm oil was previously the second-most widely produced edible oil, after soybean oil,[citation needed]. However, in the 2004-2005 marketing year, 33.5 million metric tonnes were produced worldwide, compared to 32.6 million metric tonnes of soybean oil.

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