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  • Palm oil is cheap and ubiquitous.

  • It's used in thousands of everyday products

  • and is the most widely consumed vegetable oil

  • on the planet.

  • You can get a kilo of palm oil for just $2.

  • But its usage has become unsurprisingly controversial,

  • as huge areas of rainforest

  • have been cut down or burned

  • to make way for palm plantations.

  • So why is this oil still so cheaply

  • and readily available?

  • Palm oil is in everything,

  • from chocolate to bread,

  • instant noodles to shampoo.

  • And without even really thinking about it,

  • globally, we each consume, on average,

  • about 8 kilos of palm oil every year.

  • But even if you look through the ingredients

  • of your product,

  • you may not be able to spot it.

  • Because written on the back label,

  • you could see any of these.

  • These days, Indonesia and Malaysia make up

  • 85% of all palm oil production.

  • But the oil palm species used actually originated

  • in West Africa.

  • The trees were introduced to Malaysia in 1875,

  • but for 100 years, something was missing.

  • For years, the flowers were pollinated by hand,

  • requiring hundreds of workers

  • and limiting efficiency.

  • Until, in 1981, African palm weevils

  • were introduced to the country.

  • These little beetles pollinated the plants

  • with no extra work from humans,

  • and, suddenly, palm oil yields boomed.

  • Since this, palm oil's popularity

  • has done nothing but rise.

  • Demand spiked again in the '90s,

  • as companies suddenly realized

  • the negative health implications

  • of the trans fats found in many processed products

  • and replaced them with palm oil.

  • And as ultra-processed foods increased,

  • so did the use of the oil.

  • But this incredible rise came at a cost.

  • The rapid expansion of palm oil plantations

  • has led to the destruction of huge areas

  • of tropical rainforest,

  • creating dangerous CO2 emissions

  • and destroying the remaining habitats

  • of already endangered species.

  • Dan Strechay: It's extremely cheap.

  • It's shelf-stable.

  • It has natural preservative qualities.

  • It is a really good vegetable oil,

  • but the fact is, it has been grown

  • in a way that's caused a lot of environmental damage

  • and has also impacted communities

  • and the workers that have been employed

  • to harvest the material.

  • Narrator: Seeing the devastation caused,

  • your first instinct might be to cut out palm oil completely.

  • But searching for an alternative

  • might actually make things worse.

  • Palm oil is so efficient

  • that using an alternative oil

  • would require up to 10 times the land to grow.

  • This efficiency is the main reason the oil is so cheap.

  • Oil palm trees are evergreen and perennial.

  • They produce oil all year round

  • and can happily grow in soils that many other plants can't.

  • NGOs and companies from around the world

  • came together to set up

  • the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil

  • in 2004 to create a set of criteria

  • to grow this crop sustainably.

  • But it's only since 2018

  • that the Roundtable has embraced

  • the high carbon stock approach,

  • a system that helps identify valuable areas of forest

  • and keeps the palm oil they certify

  • completely deforestation-free.

  • Strechay: The fact is, it's just a plant.

  • It's how and where we've done it

  • and how we've grown it that causes the problem,

  • but that means that it's a human problem.

  • We created the issue.

  • That means that we also have the ability

  • to solve that issue, to fix that issue.

  • Narrator: Fixing this problem

  • isn't going to be easy, though.

  • Joss Lyons-White: There are numerous barriers that exist

  • for companies trying to implement

  • zero-deforestation commitments.

  • So, one of those is the fact

  • that you have highly complex supply chains,

  • and it's difficult to know exactly

  • where your palm oil is coming from.

  • Another one is that you have varying levels

  • of government support

  • in different regions that produce palm oil.

  • And the extent of government support,

  • it plays an important role

  • in whether a company can produce

  • without deforestation, for complex reasons.

  • Narrator: So, are we doing enough?

  • The Roundtable now certifies about 19900:04:29,602 --> 00:04:32,522 of palm oil worldwide, but getting to this point

  • has been a long, slow process,

  • and we're running out of time.

  • Kristjan Jespersen: Critically, global consumption

  • for palm oil will invariably increase

  • until 2050 as we approach 9.6 billion people.

  • Lyons-White: You also have to set the persistence

  • of large markets, such as China and India,

  • where there is much more of an emphasis on price

  • rather than the sustainability profile of the product,

  • and this means that if you're a manufacturer, say,

  • and you're trying to buy palm oil

  • and encourage your suppliers

  • to make sure that their production is deforestation-free,

  • you have limited leverage

  • because they always have an alternative market

  • they can sell into.

  • So there are these challenges

  • with implementing a commitment to zero deforestation,

  • which make it very difficult to achieve.

  • Narrator: India, China, and Indonesia now account

  • for nearly 40% of all palm oil consumed,

  • and it looks like palm oil is going to remain cheap

  • for a while longer,

  • but the cost to the planet could be devastating.

  • But it's not just palm oil that's the problem.

  • Lyons-White: Palm oil still pales in comparison

  • in terms of its contribution to deforestation.

  • It pales in comparison with cattle and beef products,

  • which some estimates indicate may be responsible

  • for as much as a quarter of all tropical deforestation.

  • Narrator: Global Canopy published a list of 500

  • companies and financial institutions

  • linked to tropical deforestation from soy,

  • palm, cattle, and timber.

  • Only half of these companies have made zero deforestation

  • a commitment by 2020.

  • And not a single one of these companies

  • is on track to make this target.

  • Global Canopy also says that,

  • despite the commitments that are being made,

  • evidence shows that rates of commodity-driven deforestation

  • have not decreased since 2001.

  • Strechay: Whether it's palm, soy, beef, leather,

  • all ingredients, companies have a responsibility

  • not to wait for the consumer to make the demand.

  • They have a responsibility

  • to do it before the consumer demands.

  • Any forest that's being cleared as we face

  • what many would call a climate crisis is too much.

  • So what we know we have to do

  • is we have to take a very hard look

  • at how we consume things,

  • why we're consuming it,

  • and how we go about

  • sourcing and growing our materials

  • like palm oil or soy, beef, or cotton.

Palm oil is cheap and ubiquitous.

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B1 中級 美國腔

棕櫚油為什麼這麼便宜 (Why Palm Oil Is So Cheap)

  • 4 1
    jeremy.wang 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
影片單字