Thursday, 8 December 2016

I decided to ban palm oil and why you should too

The other day I saw this video posted by a friend on his Facebook page. It literally broke my heart. As there are no graphic images, I decided to show it to my children. The images are indeed emotionally shocking but I think my children are mature enough to handle the truth. After all, it is of direct relevance to them as consumer of today and of tomorrow.

As we first became parents, what was a growing awareness we handled more or less passively suddenly became an urgent matter.
  • We were trying to consume locally as much as possible.
  • We aimed at reducing waste.
  • We used a Britax to filter the tap water
  • We bought a Sodastream to make our own sparkling water.
  • We would go to our local organic store from time to time.

That was it. We never really looked further
  • Where were the ingredients sourced?
  • Were they sourced ethically?
  • What is their impact on our health?
  • What is their impact on our planet?

Nope, those questions didn’t strike us at that time. Maybe yes but we didn’t want to face the reality. Who knows?

Humans love habits, routine. Life is so much easier if you don’t question. For God’s sack no change please!

And then we became parents and all of a sudden, we are concerned to leave a planet with sustained natural resources and a strong ecosystem to our children. We were no longer inhabitants of this planet for the time we live on it. Our time on this planet was extended because we made babies. We produced a mini version of ourselves. So not only do we have to take care of our planet, but also we have the duty to educate our children towards that end.

So we decided to change our consumption habits.

Of course, it isn’t possible to make a dramatic shift and embrace a zero waste, 100% organic and ethic way of consumption in our situation. Why? Because we live in a country where the mind-set is absolutely not directed to environmental issues. People don’t walk here and the roads are not made for pedestrians. Some households own up to four cars. Let me be clear, that's not a criticism, just a fact. One can only drive a car at a time so... 

I lived in few countries and the one that I feel closer is Germany where recycling measures are exemplary. 

I started to spend much more time doing my groceries shopping scrutinizing the ingredients. Sometimes I can literally visualise my husband and children fading away while waiting for me in the centre aisle.

Palm oil was one of the ingredients I wanted to avoid as much as possible. I couldn’t ban it completely from our pantry because my children like to eat crepes with Nutella once in a while. I tolerated it, as saturated fat can’t be a danger to your health when consumed with moderation. Albeit, some suspects palm oil to foster the growth of cancer cells in addition to the increased cardiovascular risk.

But this video opened my eyes. I can no longer endorse the massive deforestation and all its consequences. Yes, as long as no measures are adopted to stop burning forests and to protect the affected animals – not only orang-utans but also Sumatra tigers, elephants etc – if we keep on buying products that contains palm oil, we are passively endorsing this practice.

Besides, burning forests to clear the land for palm oil cultivation is highly pollutant. The acrid haze causes respiratory tract infections.

Now my children ask me if this or that product contains palm oil. My daughter of six can read so she decided to help me identify it on the package when we go to shop groceries  J     It is a misconception to think that children wouldn’t understand, that they are too sensitive. They are capable of so much empathy, much more than any adult. 

Cherry on the cake, here I offer you an alternative that tastes as good as the famous chocolate spread. It is organic. There is even a vegan version. It’s called Nocciolata 

As a consumer we have the duty to stand for what we believe. Our decision to consume or not a product is our response to the agri-food industry that is enjoying a  too much comfortable position.

So I decided to stop consuming palm oil for obvious ethical reasons. Will you too?


~~~


L’autre jour, un ami a poste cette vidéo sur sa page Facebook.

J’avais le cœur meurtri après l’avoir visionnée.

Après réflexion, j’ai décidé de la montrer à mes enfants. La vidéo contenait certes des images émouvantes mais pas graphiques au point de les traumatiser.

Je leur ai montrée à plusieurs reprises - car à leur jeune âge, c’est quand même plus compliqué, avouons-le - tout en leur expliquant pourquoi la maman du bébé orang-outan était à terre, pourquoi des personnes s’activaient autour du mâle orang-outan et pourquoi le troisième orang-outan s’agrippait à cet arbre comme on s’agripperait à une bouée de sauvetage en mer. 

Il était temps pour moi de faire prendre conscience à mes enfants que ce que nous consommons peut avoir de conséquences graves. Que nous avons le choix de vouloir continuer à consommer de l’huile de palme et fermer les yeux sur le sort qui attend ces pauvres animaux ou justement décider aujourd’hui que nous ne voulons plus participer à ce massacre. Vous rendez-vous compte que les orang-outans, les éléphants et tigres de Sumatra sont en dangers d’extinction ?

Même si notre corps a besoin de graisses saturées et que consommée avec modération, l’huile de palme n’est pas nocif – quoique certains le soupçonnent de favoriser le développement de cellules cancérigènes… j’ai décidé de bannir cette huile de nos placards pour des raisons éthiques.

Ce n’était pas difficile de leur accepter d’arrêter le Nutella et autres produits de chez Nestlé, Ferrero et compagnie. Elles ont compris que les plantations de palmier à huile mettaient en danger la vie des orang-outans et qu’en continuant à consommer des produits qui en contiennent, cela revenait a cautionner cette pratique. Les enfants sont capables de tellement plus d’empathie que nous les adultes.

Et puis, il y a des alternatives bio sans huiles de palme et qui sont tout aussi bonnes, si ce n'est meilleures. Nous avons testé le Nocciolata et le Mamie Bio. En texture comme en goût, ces pâtes à tartiner n'ont rien à envier à l'originale, loin de là

Ces choix sont des mini-combats que nous devons mener au quotidien si nous voulons faire changer les choses à notre échelle.

Oui, je ne ferais peut-être pas changer les habitudes de consommation de la majorité des gens mais j’ai le cœur à croire que ceux qui me côtoient et me lisent commenceront à questionner la plantation de palmiers à huile et les conséquences dévastatrices qu’elle engendre sur son passage : déforestation massive, animaux en danger d’extinction, risques cardiovasculaires augmentés car riche en graisses saturées.

Cette vidéo m’a ouvert les yeux ; je ne peux plus cautionner à cette destruction de la faune et flore. Et vous ?











No comments:

Post a Comment

designed with love by beautiful dawn designs