This new app detects palm oil in products

This new app makes it easy to find out if your favourite products contain non-sustainable palm oil. Here's how.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 3 January 2019

Palm oil has long been a flash point issue for eco-aware consumers, most recently highlighted by the banned Iceland TV advert that highlighted the plight of Sumatran orangutans, whose habitat is cut down to make way for palm oil crops.

But how do you keep up with what products contain non sustainably grown palm oil? 

It can seem daunting and endless once you dig deeper into the ingredients list of packaged food especially when charities warn that palm oil is in 50% of supermarket products, one way or another.

A new app, from a social enterprise called Giki, allows shoppers to scan a barcode and see if each product contains non-sustainable palm oil through a simple rating system.

The free to download app rates 250,000 everyday products with 13 badges that compare everything from palm oil production to whether the packaging is recyclable or not.

Palm Oil News

Use the free Giki app to scan supermarket products and find the palm oil

Like with most complex ecological issues, it's not as simple as avoiding or rejecting palm oil all together. 

For instance, did you know that palm oil gets listed as an ingredient under literally hundreds of different names?

Most of us might recognise ‘palm kernel oil’ or ‘palmolein’ as having something to do with palm oil, but we might not know that 'glyceryl' or 'stearate' is also palm oil. 

Swapping to palm oil alternatives isn't always a winner either. WWF advises that palm oil alternatives need up to nine times more land to produce. However as consumers and corporations, we need to act to change the rapid rise in demand for palm oil. 

Ethical Consumer has said that the demand for palm oil is set to triple by 2050 - which would cause mass deforestation and even more diversity loss at a time when we can't afford to lose any more ancient forests, that act as carbon sinks apart from anything else.

So back to the app and putting the choice for palm oil in the palm of your hand...

Giki's new app tells shoppers quickly if there is palm oil in any form in the product and whether it's been sustainably grown. 

By supporting the brands and products that are farming responsibly, it helps send a message that we won't stand for wildlife habitats being destroyed. What will you choose?

How to do the #PalmOilAudit at home


Will you do the #PalmOilAudit?

Chances are you'll have palm oil in every products in every room in your home. It's in everything from shampoo to cooking oil. If you can swap 10 things from palm oil to palm oil free, then scale that up in homes across the world, we can make a big impact in 2019. Remember as a consumer the power is in your pocket and purse.

Grab the free Giki app, scan the products in your cupboards and bathroom and if there's palm oil in there, the app will make palm oil free suggestions. 

Georgina Wilson-Powell 3 January 2019

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