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Why We Don't Use Palm Oil

Did you know that there was a bit of a "controversy" about palm oil? Not just in the soap making world, but everywhere.  

Why?  Well, it's a little complicated.

Palm oil is an oil that is produced from the fruit of the African oil palm tree.  These trees are native to Africa, but are now grown all over Africa, Asia, and both North and South America. They flourish in places that are warm and receive an abundance of rain. 

The palm oil industry is huge. Palm oil is used in lots of products, as it is both edible and relatively cheap. Many companies use it in their items. 

The biggest "issue" that arises from palm oil is that many times the companies that farm the palm trees do not do so in an environmentally stable way. Many animals have their habitats in these areas, and with the massive deforestation that is underway to create the farms, they are losing their homes. As a result, they are under the threat of going extinct. 

What can we do to help? 

1. Reduce the use of products that contain palm oil.  Read the labels of everything you purchase to see if it is one of the ingredients. Palm oil is used in cosmetics, cleaning supplies, baked goods, and more. 

2. Support the companies that use sustainable palm oil. There are companies that are committed to reducing the environmental impact of oil palm farming, such as the deforestation. 

3. Be informed. Make your own choices about what is right for you. 

Here at The Soaping Soprano, our soaps are all palm oil free. 

For more reading on the palm oil topic, check out these links:

World Wildlife Federation

Say No to Palm Oil

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil