Well, you don’t really need to own a farm to understand what Aldo Leopold meant from the quote above, but he’s right. Not knowing where our food comes from is dangerous. Why, you might ask? Well, when we don’t know where our food comes from, we have no way of knowing what it took to produce it and if it had a negative impact on the environment. All of the foods we purchase in the grocery store require resources to produce. To make your favorite snacks possible, a whole lot of land, water, and labor resources were likely used.
So, have you ever stopped and wondered what the first step of snack production looks like? You might think that it comes from the harvested ingredients, but if you go back a little further you’ll be astonished and disappointed.
One of the ingredients most often used in our snacks is notorious for wreaking havoc on the environment, killing wildlife and having a negative impact on local communities. So which ingredient in our snacks is to blame? Can you guess? Palm oil.
The image above is of a slash and burn operation in Peru. It is literally what it sounds like. Slash up all the trees and vegetation and burn it. It is estimated that 300 football fields worth of forest are cut down every hour for palm oil.If wildlife gets in the way, well, that’s their problem. Terrible isn’t it? And what is it for? Our snacks? For us? Now, wait just a minute…
If people knew what the first step in the production of our own snacks looked like (and if it looked like this), they would not make that purchase. But because we are never shown these images or given insight into the process behind making our favorite food possible, many consumers continue to purchase items with palm oil without even realizing. In fact, around 50 percent of all consumer goods contain palm oil, but most people do not even know it exists.
The good news is that it is possible to lower your contribution to this destruction by avoiding this ingredient whenever possible. The top way to avoid this ingredient is to snack smarter and READ the labels. If it has palm oil in it, skip it. The second best way is to make your own snacks or grab a piece of fruit. Most importantly, share this post and help raise awareness for this important issue. To learn more about how you can avoid palm oil, click here.
Image Source: PIXABAY