Earth Balance is a popular, widely used butter alternative that claims to hold sustainability as its number one standard. Sadly, it has chosen to use palm oil in its products, an ingredient responsible for some of the worst wildlife, environmental, and human rights degradations on earth.
Palm oil is the most widely produced vegetable oil worldwide. The reason: it has a high yield and is the cheapest vegetable oil to produce. But there’s a hitch — oil palms need a rainforest climate and a lot of land to thrive. For this reason, palm oil plantations are currently the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia, and estimates suggest that 98% of their natural rainforests will be destroyed by 2022.
Horrifying scenes of orangutans buried alive and elephants burned are what greet palm oil workers after a massive clear cut. Those orangutans that do survive are considered pests, and often clubbed to death by plantation workers. According to the World Wildlife Fund, if nothing changes, the orangutan could become extinct in the wild within 5-10 years, and Sumatran tigers in less than 3 years.
Please join me in calling on Earth Balance to uphold its commitment to ethical food production, and cease its use of palm oil immediately. The stakes couldn’t be higher.
Earth Balance claims to source its palm oil sustainably, but Greenpeace considers this label to be “little more than greenwash,” as “sustainable” palm oil producers are still permitted to clearcut. Producers of sustainable palm oil are also currently battling hundreds of charges of human rights violations, so it seems clear that the only ethical solution is to stop using palm oil altogether.
When Earth Balance came on the market, I was a big supporter. I loved the product and was glad that it seemed to be aligned with my values as a conscientious consumer. I’m seriously hoping it’s not just giving lip service to its claims of sustainability, and that it will correct its mistake if enough like-minded people urge it to.
Our consumer choices directly affect communities, wildlife, and the climate. Earth Balance knows this, and claims to strive to be as ethical as possible. So I’m calling on Earth Balance to do what’s right, and cut its ties with the hurtful, gruesome palm oil industry.