Peanut butter without palm oil: does it save the tropical forest

Published on
July 31, 2020

“Peanut butter without palm oil: does it save the tropical forest”. This is the title of a newspaper article that recently appeared in ‘Het Parool’. In the article the author investigates the truth and nonsense about the food products we eat. This time it is investigated whether peanut butter without palm oil can really save tropical forests. Lotte Woittiez, researcher at PPS on oil palm, shares her view on this topic. She mentions that on the one hand oil palm is growing in wet areas where there is competition with primary rainforests. But on the other hand she also highlights that the situation is much more complex. If palm oil will not be used, replacing oils should come from somewhere else – and probably requires more land which also is at a cost of nature. Another argument Lotte adds is that once Europe and the US ban palm oil they would lose a seat at the table. “We consume relatively a low amount of oil palm, but our sustainability standards are much higher. If we will ban oil palm, there will still be a huge market for palm oil, but there will be less incentives for companies to produce the oil in a sustainable way.”