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Digital Subscriptions > Be Kind > Mar/Apr 2019 > My palm oil-free week

My palm oil-free week

Lucy Buchholz pledges to have a week without the ingredient that's destroying our planet

Eurgh, palm oil. It's responsible for the destruction of our rainforests, which contributes to global warming and has rendered thousands of orangutans homeless, orphaned or dead. Yet approximately 50 per cent of products found in supermarkets contain palm oil – from the food we eat, to the toiletries we use every day. More of us are trying to ditch palm oil, but retailers still manage to sneak it into their products by using one of its 170 aliases. But why is an oil that’s damaging our environment so popular? It’s simple – it’s incredibly versatile. Palm oil can be processed to create a wide range of products with different consistencies, characteristics and melting points, so we can do pretty much anything with it, from smearing it on our skin, to spreading it on our toast. I’ve heard the phrase ‘palm oil is in EVERYTHING’ so many times I’ve taken it as gospel – but I decided to challenge this, and see if I could live without the seemingly vital oil for one whole week.

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About Be Kind

Hello, Welcome to the new issue. We had an overwhelming response to our first edition – we’re so glad we reached so many like-minded people who want to make the world a better place. This month we’re looking at the huge topic of food and, in particular, why so much of this precious resource ends up in the bin. I was astonished to learn that around one third of all food produced for humans gets wasted each year – that’s around 1.3 billion tonnes of perfectly edible food ending up lost or wasted. It’s time to redress the balance and start taking responsibility for our own contribution to these scary statistics, and this issue is packed with ways to reduce your food footprint, make more sustainable choices and fight back against waste. So many times this month I have found myself referring back to how our grandparents used to live – buying items built to last, repairing and reusing, being creative with food scraps and living, where possible, within their means. Sharing this ethos, we spoke to the inspirational social enterprise Emmaus, who are encouraging us all to ditch the flat pack and buy second-hand furniture and the lovely Selkie Patterns who want to get us all sewing our own clothes. With these small steps, together we can start making a difference. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor