Panorama: Dying For a Biscuit
If you knew that, by buying your favourite chocolate bar, you were contributing to the extinction of the orangutan and fuelling global warming, would you still treat yourself?
In the UK we consume huge amounts of palm oil, an ingredient found in scores of products including biscuits, fish fingers, cosmetics and toiletries.
In Panorama’s Dying For a Biscuit, reporter Raphael Rowe journeys into the rainforest of Borneo, where he uncovers evidence of palm oil companies cutting down trees illegally and developing plantations on protected land.
This deforestation releases huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the global environment. As the forest disappears, at a rate of two football pitches every minute, so too does the habitat of man’s closest cousins, the critically endangered orangutan.
Palm oil products and the weekly shop
In researching Dying for a Biscuit, Panorama asked the makers of the top selling products containing palm oil and the major supermarket chains about their palm oil use. We also requested information on how they sourced their palm oil and whether or not they participate in the GreenPalm trading scheme, aimed at encouraging growers to produce more sustainable oil.
Orangutan survival and the shopping trolley
Panorama investigates how demand for the palm oil that lands in our shopping trolleys is killing Indonesia’s orangutans.
Panorama website with lots more information and links, plus you can watch or download the programme via the BBC iPlayer.
Another report about this BBC programme from ecomonkey.
• freeofpalmoil.blogspot.com … UK Specific.
This looks like an excellent site that delves into the specific ingredients, along with foods, to avoid. “I’m an ordinary consumer in the UK trying to live palm oil free, I believe I am now eating and drinking palm oil free meals. I am nearly there on the contents of my bathroom and dressing table. The next big hurdle is household cleaning products.”
• nopalmoil.wordpress.com … UK Specific.
“Going palm oil free. Is it possible to completely avoid palm oil?”
• palmoilfree.blogspot.com … US Specific.
“On this blog, I will be listing and reviewing products that I have actually used. You may be asking “What’s wrong with palm oil?”. Palm oil is the number 1 threat to the orangutan. If we want to save them, we need to take a stand.”
You can also watch/download Panorama: Dying For a Biscuit on YouTube:
Thinkers of the Jungle
Written by Gerd Schuster & Willie Smits
Photography by Jay Ullal
“An exceptional insight into the way of life of a unique and very special endangered species based on the latest research on the subject. We all recognise these highly intelligent and impressive animals – orangutans. But very few people know anything about how they live and their habits. Around 6,000 of these animals die every year; they are among the world’s most endangered species despite sharing 97% of its genes with humans! This book reveals the plain truth, and the tragedy of what is happening in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra. Species protection and the fight against climate change – can they go together? Yes – that’s proved by the spectacular facts that the authors of this book have researched and now published for the first time. The destruction of the rainforests is not only fuelling global warming but systematically annihilating the habitat of the orangutan. whatever the declarations of intent on the part of those involved, almost nothing is being done to protect this endangered great ape: that’s the shocking message of this book, and at the same time a call to action. This state of affairs is impressively documented by sensational until now unpublished photographs taken during the photographer’s travels in Borneo and Sumatra.”
– This is the Amazon product description, but don’t let that sway you. This looks to be a fine book indeed.
Photographs by Jay Ullal:
The Eyes of Jay Ullal.
Photographer Jay Ullal and his life on the planet of the apes