Three-hundred football fields worth of rain forest are destroyed every hour due to the harvesting of palm oil, according to the CSU Palm Oil Committee, a group of students committed to getting the word out about the substance.
According to Katie Phillips, the director of the committee, palm oil harvesting is not only destroying rain forests and thus killing many endangered species, it is encouraging child abuse and enslavement in order to provide the labor for the farming.
“This is not okay,” Phillips said. “There are a lot of alternatives.”
The committee is trying to get the word out about the dangerous effects of this substance by working with dining services to serve palm oil-free foods, speaking to freshman at dorms and going to local grocery stores and placing stickers on products that contain the oil.
Committee member Taylor Williams said that she wants to spread awareness so that CSU students might choose to purchase alternative products that contain no palm oil.
“A lot of the issue is that people don’t know what they’re buying,” Williams said. “I think its an issue we can solve.”
Committee Social Media Directory Emily Ward encourages CSU students to be more active consumers.
“Everything we purchase sends a message,” Ward said. “It’s important to research every product you buy.”
March 26th and 27th will be Palm Oil Awareness day, and the committee will work even harder to spread the word for consumers to buy palm oil-free products. To those that may already be aware of the issue, Phillips warns that the choice we have as consumers can have world-wide effects.
“Not buying these products will give a family in Indonesia the chance to live without fear,” Phillips said. “The choices we make here will come back to haunt us.”
Collegian Reporter Caitlin Curley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.