Islanders take on challenge to go Palm Oil Free for a month

Members of the Isle of Wight Green Party are challenging themselves and members of the public to try to live palm oil-free during March. Find out why they are giving up Palm Oil for Lent.

palm oil planation

Maggie shares this latest news. Ed

Members of the Isle of Wight Green Party are challenging themselves and members of the public to try to live palm oil-free during March. This coincides with Lent when some people give up something they enjoy as a challenge.

Maggie Nelmes, Environmental Campaigns Officer for the IW Green Party is leading the campaign, following a highly informative Plastics-Free Campaign held last June.

High risk of cancer and organ damage
Maggie says,

“If only people realised how dangerous palm oil in our everyday processed food is to our health, and especially to young children, they would be horrified”

The refined oil contains contaminants in high concentrations that can cause cancer and organ damage. A recent study by the European Food Safety Authority has confirmed this threat.

Yet palm oil has been increasingly used by food manufacturers in recent years, replacing home produced oils because it is cheaper.

Maximising profits is more important to them than human health!

Palm oil can be found in chocolate and peanut spread, margarine, crunchy cereals, frozen ready meals, sausages, pastries, ice-cream, sweets, snacks and many other foods.

Widespread rainforest destruction
There is huge destruction of the Rainforest to make space for vast palm oil plantations in tropical zones around the world.

Loss of habitat is driving a great diversity of species to extinction, especially in Indonesia where the rate of destruction is alarming. Iconic species of mammal. such as the orangutan, pygmy elephant and Sumatran tiger are especially vulnerable to extinction.

Indigenous people are also losing their land and their forest dwellings to greed for palm oil.

Massive carbon release and air pollution
The carbon release from forest fires are adding to global warming and climate change.

Pollution is causing breathing problems in humans and endangering the lives of those suffering from respiratory disease.

Ruthless employment practices
Amnesty International published a report last December into employment practices at palm oil plantations owned by the world’s largest palm oil producer.

Their investigation uncovered widespread and systematic human rights abuses, including child labour and slave labour.

Why import Palm Oil from so far away?
Sheer greed Maggie says,

“Manufacturers are motivated by greed, to maximise their profits, because palm oil is far cheaper than home grown vegetable oils.

“In addition to all the harm listed above, we can add food miles that necessitate the use of oil and cause pollution.”

It’s not just food products – palm oil can also be found increasingly in cosmetics, toiletries, detergents and candles.

How To Take Part
Maggie says,

“Take your reading glasses or a magnifying glass with you when you go shopping because by law the ingredients in every food product have to be listed on the packaging.”

For more information about the Palm Oil-Free Campaign, please email Maggie at and send me your feedback about alternative products you have found.

Image: glennhurowitz under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 16th February, 2017 8:28am



Filed under: Environment, Green Issues, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

3 Comments on "Islanders take on challenge to go Palm Oil Free for a month"

newest oldest most voted
Email updates?

I made the decision to live ‘Palm Oil free’ ages ago, when I heard a shocking report on the effect of heat on palm oil, how the toxicity is hugely increased. we hear so many conflicting stories I know, but this one was enough to make me regard palm oil as too dangerous to consume.

Whilst deforestation is a terrible thing I’m pretty sure abstanance for a month will not reverse the damage already done to this world wide multi billion industry Better to lobby for import duty tax and make its use far less attractive for manufacturers As for cancer doesn’t everything give you cancer now days … perhaps we might start with our lovely diesel buses perhaps not using them… Read more »
Julie its pretty obvious that the palm oil problem wont be solved by abstaining for a month lol BUT it will get us thinking about it and looking fir alternatives! and Highlighting a very real health concern.Its a little narrow minded I feel too say “doesn’t everything give you cancer these days” and also not true. If the proof of Palm oil in our foods and worst… Read more »