Palm Oil, Earth Balance, and Rainforest Destruction: Straw-Man Argument or Legitimate Connection?

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Raising cattle for beef is the number one cause of the destruction of rainforests and global warming, but today we’re going to talk about palm oil. Grown in tropical regions, palm plantations are displacing rainforests, destroying orangutan habitats and wreaking havoc on the ecosystem. With good intentions, some vegans have called for a boycott of Earth Balance, a vegan butter that uses palm oil as its primary fat, even though it doesn’t source its palm from native orangutan habitats. Is it possible to source palm oil sustainably? For that matter, is it possible to source any historically unsustainable crop in a sustainable way? In today’s episode, I weigh in on this issue and offer some food for thought.


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