Palm oil is a very cheap and popular oil that’s used in many different products, including deodorants, shampoo, toothpaste, and cosmetics.
Here’s the deal, though: palm is one of the most pervasive monoculture crops in the world, supplanting incredibly biodiverse ecosystems with rows of palm trees as far as the eye can see. In the process, thousands of species’ homes are disrupted, and larger animals, like orangutans, who pose a particular obstacle to deforesters are killed.
Like most monoculture, palm farmers use huge quantities of agrochemicals, which contaminate soils, kill pollinators and run off into nearby rivers and oceans, creating oceanic dead zones and over-fertilizing aquatic flora, which can choke out fish and other aquatic species.
Palm oil. Yuck.