Stories of environmental illness and people with irreparably damaged immune systems are fairly common. Unless society works to change, you can expect to hear even more. Your body is increasingly taxed by the cumulative, damaging effects of pollutants. Unless everyone starts to take preventive measures, society will succumb to environmental illness.
Stories of environmental illness and people with irreparably damaged immune systems are fairly common. Unless society works to change, you can expect to hear even more. Your body is increasingly taxed by the cumulative, damaging effects of pollutants. Unless everyone starts to take preventive measures, society will succumb to environmental illness. Take responsibility.
The ultimate goal in creating a healthy living space is to foster a healthy planet. Conservation and awareness are the first steps toward ensuring a livable world. Start with small, manageable steps to create a healthy living space for yourself, your family and others.
Corporate Responsibility for the Environment
Native to Africa, the oil palm was first introduced to Southeast Asia by the Dutch in 1848, but due to the attention that was being given to rubber trees at that time, its value went largely unnoticed. Today, Malaysia's oil palms are the world's most productive oil-yielding crop.
Palm oil was consumed as an important source of dietary fat long before it became one of the world's most sought after agricultural commodities. The availability of dietary fat was severely limited in Asia during World War I and World War II, and so daily doses of palm oil were taken to supplement the diet.
The oil palm thrives naturally in Malaysia's ideal climate and soils. However, before Malaysia emerged as the world's leading producer of palm oil, the seeds of industrialization had to be carefully planted and cultivated with astute foresight, proficient scientific research and plenty of hard physical work.
The momentum, the interest and the experience that had developed gradually during the early decades of palm oil production came together in the late 1950s and early 1960s. First, oil palms were planted in alluvial soils located in the fertile lowlands, soils which could sustain demanding crops like the oil palm. Then, in the years between 1960 and 1990, investment and research went into implementing a crop diversification program to boost Malaysia's economy. Unprecedented yields of 4.5 tonnes per hectare were recorded in 1990, almost doubling the 2.6 tonnes per hectare of 1960.
One result of the research into palm oil was the discovery of its versatility: not only can palm oil fulfill dietary requirements, but it has uses in agricultural production and industry.
Nearly all of the fatty acids used in the oleochemical industry are derived from natural fats and are therefore attractive as ecologically sound alternatives to petroleum-based chemicals. Palm oil has made substantial gains over beef tallow in the market for distilled fatty acids, methyl esters and refined glycerin. Distilled fatty acids are used in the manufacture of soap and candles, while toiletries, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, humectants and emulsifiers are made from refined glycerin.
Perhaps the most exciting development with palm oil is the research in using methyl esters to produce vegetable oil fuel, which has none of the toxic emissions associated with petroleum/diesel fuel, and provides better fuel efficiency.
Along with Malaysia's success in producing more than one-third of the edible oils and fats (and their by-products), comes great responsibility. Efforts to preserve the land through means of terracing and complementary crop planting among the palms are ongoing.