Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Palm oil in fuel

I've been very slow in updating the palm oil blog lately. To tell you the truth, I'm in despair over it. There is an EU requirement that all fuel supplied in this country contains 5% bio fuel, ie palm oil or other vegetable oils.

Anything I do to reduce the amount of palm oil I eat and use in cosmetics/soap/household products pales into insignificance if palm oil is used in 5% of all the fuel used in the whole of Europe.

UK consumers have shown how much they don't care about palm oil destroying the rainforest by allowing Cadbury to continue to put palm oil in chocolate in this country whereas in New Zealand and Australia, their consumers have got Cadbury to turn tail and run when they proposed putting palm oil in chocolate over there. Why doesn't consumer power work in the UK - because there aren't enough people writing letters and e-mails of complaint.

I've dedicated so much time and effort to this but I'm finding it hard to get the motivation together to write any more letters and e-mails which all achieve nothing if no-one else joins in. I was hoping I could use my research to make a website to inform people how to live without palm oil but it seems pretty much an impossible task now.


  1. Hi Sue,

    I've just come across your blog and am reading it chronologically, so I'm sure you regain your fervour in posts I have yet to read. I just wanted to comment, at this point, to say that I feel so inspired by what you have done. I became aware of the connection between palm oil and deforestation about the same time that you started this blog, and I wrote to Cadbury (receiving no reply) and boycotted their chocolate (aswell as Palmers Cocoa Butter, Dove and Utterly Butterly - that was about the extent of my research, which is rather embarrasing in light of the lenghts to which you have gone) for about 6 months before finally feeling completely overwhelmed by the futility of my efforts, and burying my head back in the sand again.

    I recently watched another documentary about the orangutans and it has spurred me to resume an effort to make ethical choices again, despite the wealth of misinformation and the head-in-the-sand culture that is encouraged by the consumer conglomerates who, on the whole, don't seem to give a monkeys (couldn't resist) about ethical concerns. Hence some tentative research on the net resulted in the discovery of your blog.

    I think you are truly to be commended for the time and effort you have put into this crusade, and I hope that I can develop the level of integrity required, as demonstrated by yourself, in making my choices count. Even if they are outshadowed by the overall negative impact of our mass-culture, perhaps there is merit in the ethical decisions that each and every one of us can make.


  2. Leonnie, your posting uplifts me and also makes me very humble that my little blog has inspired someone else, thank you so much!

    I have indeed rediscovered my fervour for this cause - one little saying (that you'll hopefully read shortly) changed my mind about not giving in to what sometimes feels futile. I'm more measured now in the time I spend on it but this issue is never ever far from my thoughts.