Some of the forests that are being cleared by fire are apparently supposed to be under protection by a moratorium on deforestation. But as we know of many things in Indonesia, pacts count for little when there is money to be made.
Most of that money being made is coming from buyers downstream of palm oil. And many of those buyers come from Singapore, where we use palm oil daily (called “vegetable oil”) in cooking because it is cheap.
Palm oil was once considered a healthy alternative to trans fats, until a 2009 study showed otherwise. In Malaysia and several other markets, it’s also used as bio diesel. There are also palm oil derivatives in our personal care products like soaps and shampoos.
Palm oil is far from “green”. If anything, if we survive this bout of PSI 400+ smoke, it’s a good time for us to be more aware of our huge demand for palm oil, and how it’s feeding the greed of the Indonesian palm oil producing companies, their shareholders and their various levels of government.
Take a look at your labels. Boycott palm products.