From Brian Payton’s “Fat of the Land”:
According to the Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, palm oil, although less harmful than oils containing trans fats, still promotes heart disease. It’s also unhealthy for wildlife. Over 80 percent of the world’s palm oil is produced in former tropical rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, the only habitat of wild orangutans, Sumatran rhinoceroses, pygmy elephants, and an ark’s worth of endangered and endemic species. Between 1985 and 1997, these islands lost 60 percent of their rainforest, contributing to what the ordinarily staid World Bank refers to as “a species extinction spasm of planetary proportions.” Demand for palm oil is forecast to double by 2020, requiring about 3,000 square kilometres of new land every year—in part to support our addiction to junk food.
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