Nutella is the stuff dreams are made of. OK, well, it’s really just amazing on toast–and almost everything else, but according to Segolene Royal, the French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, our love of Nutella (and about half of all packaged products sold in supermarkets) is wreaking havoc on the environment.
Royal said a lot of trees will have to be replanted because of the massive deforestation taking place to make palm oil, a key ingredient in Nutella and everything from lipstick and pizza dough to soap and biodiesel. “Oil palms have replaced trees,” she said, “and therefore caused considerable damage to the environment.”
Royal also called on Ferrero, the company that makes Nutella, to start making the spread from other ingredients. Ferrero, on the other hand, claims to source their palm oil from sustainable supplies.
Related: Evidence of Orangutan Graveyard uncovered on Proctor and Gamble palm oil supplier’s land
Palm oil itself is a vegetable oil derived from the palm fruit and grown on the African oil palm tree. The tree can flourish anywhere that has adequate heat and rainfall, including Malaysia and Indonesia, where 85 percent of palm oil is harvested.
Unfortunately, palm oil–the stuff that makes that wonderful Nutella goodness–is grown at the expense of forests, habitats for orangutans and Sumatran tigers, and contributes to climate change. Each hour, an area the size of 300 football fields (that’s massive) is cleared to make way for more palm oil. Orangutans and Sumatran tigers will be extinct soon if this keeps up. We could lose Sumatran tigers in as few as three years, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
What to do? WWF recommends looking for the RSPO label to ensure the products you purchase are made with certified sustainable palm oil. Alternatively, look for the Green Palm label to purchase products that support the transition to certified palm oil.
Via The Telegraph
Images via Flickr/kazuletokiyote and One Village Initiative