The blog of Laszlo Bokor

The blog of Laszlo Bokor

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Here comes the palm oil!

Hi everyone,

The other day, I went with The Sign Hunters to New Mills and then I just discovered that the famous Swizzels products are actually made here locally.

According to the sign at the Swizzels factory in New Mills, these sweets have been enjoyed for 90 years now which is really impressive. We all know these products and they often pop up in our lives. Even I have got one at home as the t-shirt printers normally hide one for me in the package as a little treat.

Once I was back home, I checked the packaging of one of their sweets and it was good to identify the actual production site on the package. However, if you look at the ingredients, the factory uses palm oil to produce these things. I wonder whether that was an actual ingredient that they used 90 years ago, too? (I doubt that very much!)

You know, they might have an ethical source, but since so many companies put palm oil into their products (lots of them could be avoided or replaced by other ingredients) and the demand is enormous, there must be a level where even the ethical is unethical. Another example among many things is coffee, which is my personal enemy, and nobody will ever convince me that coffee bean production has any positive impact on the environment or that Fair Trade is actually good for the planet and the environment. I think No Trade is the best for the environment, but this would trigger a lot of argument mostly related to money, economy and poverty management. 

I am just trying to say that the overall problem is not the palm oil itself. Palm oil is actually extremely versatile, high in saturates, and much easier to produce than other types of oils. So consuming products with palm oil is fine to some extent, as long as the palm oil comes from sustainable sources. This is when you need to keep an eye out for RSPO or Green Palm label, so you know that the company ensures that your purchase is made with certified sustainable palm oil. But one can argue whether the actual producer follows all rules that apply... 


I, however, cannot just walk past my doubts that palm oil adds that much into a product. What I know for sure, however, that palm oil production really puts a massive impact on the environment and that is not positive at all. I am also having a problem with the fact that palm oil is not produced locally in the UK, because as you know, palm oil cannot be produced in the UK, so these sweets and other, similar products have an even bigger ecological footprint. And since we buy these products, they increase our own ecological footprints, too. It is hard to believe that palm oil and all the consumerism are so essential parts of our lives. For me, the best way to enjoy life is to not buy products that are unnecessary in our lives. This is the best way to refrain yourself from being a large-scale palm oil consumer. That is when you do the most against environmental destruction. So, buy fewer luxury commodities and then you will help the environment the most.

~ Laszlo

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