Listen to Radio Show (pic of cleared forest; a truck drives away along a dirt road)

Palm Oil: with Catherine Laurence, Eric Lambin, Orangutan rescuer Daniek Hendarto, RSPO SG Darrel Webber

Palm oil is everywhere – from cooking oil to soap to vegan margarine. Equatorial rainforest and peatland are cleared and replaced with serried ranks of oil palm trees (Elaeis guineensis). The whole biodiversity of Borneo and Sumatra is threatened by habitat loss, particularly the iconic Orang Utans.

Some vegan activists say no product that kills this many animals can be considered vegan.

But is palm oil really worse than anything else? Can poor countries like Malaysia and Indonesia develop without it? Is there a sustainable solution?

Environmentalist Catherine Laurence helps disentangle the thicket of issues.

Hear academic experts Eric Lambin and Robert Greenland; vegan baker Ms Cupcake; primatologist Georgina Ash; vegan MP Kerry McCarthy; the boss of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and vegan Indonesian palm oil activist and Miskin Porno lead singer Daniek Hendarto. more

Palm Oil: being part of the solution

The research I did for the Palm Oil show confirmed for me that if we care about the forests then (as well as being vegan, with our much-reduced forest footprint) there are some important steps we can take as individuals to make sure we’re part of the solution.

The most direct way to reduce our own contribution to the oil palm problem is to find products that don’t use its derivatives as far as possible. This will take pressure off overall demand for expansion while the industry moves towards better practices. more