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