Palm oil derived from the palm fruit and is grown in Asia, Africa, north and south America. It grows in areas with tropical rain forests. It can be used as a butter substitute and many processed foods contain palm oil such as chocolate, ice cream, pizza dough, lipstick and margarine .The increase in use and world wide demand for palm oil in food has led to deforestation in order to grow the crop, it can lead to a loss of habitat for many animals, loss of native forests and land used by indigenous peoples.
However the by products of palm oil can be used to produce bio-diesel, the shells of the fruit being turned into pellets and oil used in commercial kitchens both offering this option.
Can palm oil can be produced in an ethical manner, which protects both the communities where it is grown and the environment? The two labels to look out for are the RSPO label and the green palm leaf label.