How are orang-utan populations under threat from palm oil plantations in south East Asia? And it’s now 10o’ clock. In other news, did you know that the palm-oil industry is responsible for the destruction of ten million hectares of rainforest? Did you also know that almost 90% of orang-utan habitat has now disappeared? Our environmental correspondent Jonathan Seal gives this exclusive report on the threat of palm-oil on orang-utans and how YOU can make a change. “Indonesia and Malaysia were once luscious lands filled with beautiful rainforests and rich ecosystems. The palm-oil industry has completely changed that. This is due to the necessity of the palm-oil Industry. One in ten food products in a UK supermarket contain palm-oil. Unfortunately, most brands put vegetable oil on the products ingredients instead to prevent the stigma associated with palm oil making it hard to avoid products with palm-oil. However there are a few products that do say they include palm-oil. It is not entirely the consumers fault though; many corporations fail to ensure that they are getting their palm-oil from non-destructive sources. The majority of companies do not even know where they are getting their palm-oil from. There are so many products which contain palm-oil e.g. crisps, bread, chocolates and cereal. There are actually many substitutes to palm-oil. Although palm-oil is solid at room temperature and can be used in high heat cooking oil, it is high in saturated fats. Substitutes that are better for wildlife and the wildlife include butter, canola oil, coconut oil and olive oil.
The great palm-oil industry deeply affects the orang-utans due to the terrible techniques that the unskilled smallholders use and the cruelty of them that is shown when they find orang-utans. One such technique that is deadly to orang-utans is slash and burn. Slash and burn involves cutting down trees and then burning them. It is used to clear forests on a wide scale in...
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