Palm Oil : How It Is Impacting Our Planet

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Palm Oil – How It Is Impacting Our Planet

Palm oil has many popular uses in the world today. Its production has also caused great concern for the impact it has on the planet, especially due to deforestation. Palm oil is a vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of the African oil palm tree and can be found in roughly 50% of packaged goods found in your local grocery store. It is the most widely produced edible oil.

Oil palms were brought to South-East Asia in the early 20th century. The main demand for the industry 's expansion is believed to have come from the British Industrial Revolution. At that point in time, 250,000 tons of palm oil were being exported annually from South-East Asia and today that number exceeds fifty-five million tons.

The commercially grown oil palms are planted in large plantations. They can be found growing throughout Malaysia, Indonesia and other tropical countries within 10˚ of the equator. They produce more oil than any other crop on the planet and can be harvested for up to 25 years. After this time, the trees are chopped down and replanted because the plantation workers can no longer reach the fruit bundles. Oil palms have an average annual oil output of approximately 10 tons per acre of land. A palm produces up to 12 fruit bunches each year and can contain 1000-3000 fruits.
Palm oil is produced at a lower cost than other vegetable oils. Supply and demand for palm oil is increasing dramatically. While it is used in a wide variety of
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