Palm Oil vs Palm Leaf Products

This topic is a key discussion point among our customers. We are regularly asked if palm oil production is related to or the same as the process to produce palm leaf products – and if so, what on earth are we doing promoting them?

So let’s get this out the way – they are NOT the same thing

Palm leaf products are made from naturally fallen palm leaves of the Areca Tree, found in India. Trees are never cut down to make these products so you can be confident in the knowledge that you are not harming the environment when you buy them.

Contrastingly, palm oil production has decimated parts of the Far East, with huge swathes of deforestation destroying acres and acres of land.

So we thought it’d be a good idea to clear up some misunderstandings about palm leaf products and palm oil production so that when you’re showing off your new dinnerware to your friends, you’re armed with the right response!

India vs Malaysia & Indonesia

Palm oil is from a different type of palm tree to those used for manufacturing palm leaf products in India. The trees used for harvesting palm oil are instead generally found in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia.

The impact on the environment from palm oil production over the last decade has been colossal. In Borneo, they saw the largest one year increase in carbon emissions in 2,000 years, catapulting Indonesia to 4th in the list of sources of these emissions. Incredibly, more carbon was produced that year in Borneo than in the entire continent of Europe!

Ecosystems are majorly affected, with the population of Orangutans falling by over 80% since 1990 as a direct result of palm oil production.

Conversely, India is where the vast majority of palm leaf products are made and their production is in no way related to that of palm oil.

How do you know which products contain palm oil?

This can all get a little confusing sometimes, we understand that. So we thought it’d be useful for you to have a list of everyday products that probably contain palm oil, so here it is:

  1. Soap
  2. Instant Noodles
  3. Bread
  4. Shampoo
  5. Chips

Tips for avoiding buying products with palm oil in them

There’s a few ways you can avoid buying palm oil products. Here’s a few suggestions for you:

  1. Saturated fat content – if this is above 40% in the product you’re considering buying, it’ll almost definitely contain palm oil
  2. Pay attention to labels – if the word ‘palm’ appears in any of the ingredients, don’t buy it! Also,  Vegetable Oil is a common re-word of palm oil!
  3. Avoid snack foods – yes they’re tasty and yes they are terrible for the environment! 50% of pre-packed foods contain palm oil – 50%!

Hopefully you’ve learned something interesting in this post and are now more confident in the knowledge that palm leaf products and those that contain palm oil are two very different things.

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