Do you know that cooking oil can contribute to haze?
A common ingredient of cooking oil is palm oil, also known as “vegetable oil”, which is good for deep frying and stir frying. However, palm oil is linked to deforestation and loss of wildlife in Indonesia and Malaysia. In order to grow palm oil, vast areas of peatland forests are cleared and drained, making the landscape dry and prone to fire. This is the main cause of haze, a crisis with profound social and environmental impacts.
Should I boycott palm oil?
The simple answer is no. Palm oil is the most land efficient oil crop, yielding 5-10 more than other types of vegetable oil, such as canola oil. By switching out, more forests might be cleared to meet the demand. Furthermore, palm oil cultivation is the livelihood of many farmers in Indonesia and Malaysia. Boycotting without providing an alternative may damage their livelihood.
Use Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) to protect forests
CSPO is produced by responsible companies which do not engage in practices such as burning and deforestation. The closest we have to eco-friendly palm oil is palm oil certified by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). In Singapore, many popular cooking oil brands offer certified sustainable options, such as Cabbage and Linda. And a few eco-friendly restaurants recently made the switch! Check out this interview with Ann from VeganBurg on how they felt about switching to RSPO-certified cooking oil.
How to switch to RSPO certified cooking oil
Switching is very simple, most of our eatery partners went through the transition in 2-4 weeks time. You can choose a supplier that provides RSPO certified option from our “Choose Sustainable Palm Oil” brochure below. Healthier choice options are also available with these suppliers. The RSPO certified option is about 6-10% more costly than the non certified option.
Please read the “Your Guide to Haze-free Cooking Oil” to discover more about palm oil and RSPO. We understand that the technical aspects of palm oil certification can be complicated, so please contact us if you have any doubts.
We also provide a “Haze-free Palm Oil Policy Template” for you to use in formulating a haze-free palm oil policy.