Buy Palm Oil.

Via elephant journal
on Aug 30, 2010
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Wanna change the world? It’s simple: just buy products with Palm Oil in ’em.

Here it comes…

Via Valerie Mitchell: For those visually inclined people out there:

DOVE wants us to love ourselves, they want us to feel good in our own skin and embrace who we are as individuals…
…unless of course they need your land to grow cheap Palm Oil.

The Body Shop is a great source for ecologically sound ingredients. They spend a lot of time investigating how their sourcing will effect the culture, not just the land, and they reinvest back into the community that’s supplying them with their raw materials.


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17 Responses to “Buy Palm Oil.”

  1. ARCreated says:

    we can not continue to be blind to our actions. Everything we put on and in our bodies has an impact…on our health, the health of those around us and the health of our planet….it itsn't about being "green" it's about being human.

    but don't just say the words, make your actions (your wallet) do your talking …for the land, the people, the planet for yourself.

  2. loupardi says:

    amazing, moving sad piece… bit confused with the headline here…

  3. Shelli Meyers says:

    How come Greenpeace is singling Dove out ?

  4. Richard Semper says:

    Can anyone clarify this? This Elephant post seems to be from Aug 2010. The video presents a link to Greenpeace (, and that page (from Jan 2009; the video seems to be from Apr 2008) says: "Thanks to the staggering public support for our international Dove campaign in April 2008, Unilever has now agreed to play their part in saving the Paradise Forests of South East Asia." And it's this is the latest update at Greenpeace with the tag "Dove". Is the specific issue related to Dove already settled?

  5. Shelli Meyers says:

    Wait, maybe that's the explanation for the contrarian headline? Because Dove made nice, now we *should* buy palm oil to support them? Er, except even the making nice news is two and a half years old; Greenpeace seems to be going directly after Sinar Mas (the big Indonesian palm oil producer; who knew?) now. Oh well.

  6. Lan Varkey says:

    Finally, I found the information I was looking for. I have been doing research on this subject, and for four days I keep finding websites that are supposed to have what I am looking for, only to be disappointed with the lack of what I had to have. I wish I could have found your web-site quicker! I had about 25% of what I needed and your website has that, and the rest of what I needed to complete my research. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  7. Shelli Meyers says:

    Weird, there is another palm oil article that went up today (, and that one embedded another one of Greenpeace's videos – very similar to this one in tone and alarmingness, but this time directed at Nestlé. The link at the end of that one now directs you to an article – dated three months ago – thanking Nestle for making the commitment to stop using all products that result in rainforest destruction ( As I said over there, I hope this is just some sort of weird news regurgitation glitch, because I think it's very bad to continue to accidentally disparage companies who have cleaned up their acts as a result of activist campaigns because we didn't make sure our info was up-to-date before we (re-)sounded a battle cry. .

  8. Shelli Meyers says:

    Glrf, my punctuation got stuck into the URLs so neither of the above links work. Here they are in a way that SHOULD work:

  9. Rose says:

    actually, greenpeace is not leading the movement against palm oil, rainforest action network is. however, it's not as simple as a lot of these groups are purporting. there are a lot of great eco companies making totally sustainable, organic palm oil and boycotting them is just taking jobs away from worthy people who do good work in struggling countries.

    basically, most ingredients in things like dove soap have negative environmental impact, is grown in a negative way, negatively impacts the people who grow it, and is toxic for you. so, staying away from dove and other similar products is a good idea, but not just because of palm oil. buy organic/non-toxic/sustainable things whenever you can because every ingredient matters. also, if you're going to spend so much time talking about what's wrong, at least spend a little time at the end mentioning what's right, i.e. highlighting a great company with wonderful, pure products that strengthen communities, like pangea, max green organics, etc. etc. etc.

  10. Shelli Meyers says:

    Your points about Unilever brands not exactly being the pinnacle of green shopping are indeed true, Rose, and very well taken. However, I still don't think that means we should compromise our integrity by pulling a "Yeah, we know you did what we asked, but because you're still not a 100% green company, we're still gonna go around spreading the false rumor that you're still sourcing palm oil from orangutang killers." I think we should always act honorably and truthfully, even if the company we're dealing with is BP or Union Carbide. The companies that have already demonstrated a willingness to make positive changes, no matter how small, could be valuable allies in the future – if they were willing to respond to the palm oil issue, just maaaaybe they could be swayed on the next issue that comes along? But hey, they're still businesses, and they're going to want to get something out of it. They likely acquiesced on the palm oil because they surmised that the resultant good will from consumers would translate into higher sales. If we take that away from them – by not calling off the proverbial hounds when they do take the requested measures – then what motivation do they have to comply the next time around?

    So yeah, even though I definitely would never buy a bar of Dove soap – because ew, gross 🙂 – I did send off an email to both Unilever and Nestle, thanking them for changing their corporate policies on this, and dropping hints about how I looked forward to their continued leadership in the corporate world on environmental, sustainability, and ethical issues. It may just be one drop in the bucket, but add enough of them together, and it just make a real impact, no?

  11. elephantjournal says:

    It's sarcasm. Want to change the world (for the worse?): buy palm oil. We (nearly) all already do, every day. It's the kind of headline that leads to folks clicking in and watching the video–otherwise this kind of video, with a PALM OIL: BAD headline…never gets seen.

  12. elephantjournal says:

    Amen. Lynn and I will amend and update our articles pronto. Your comment is the kind of wonderful example of web 2.0—the ability of the masses, or you!, to enlighten us, not just a one-way street.

    The companies, if they've amended their ways, deserve love for doing so.

  13. Shelli Meyers says:

    I'm not sure Lynn agrees with you; see her response under my comment on her article, which seems to be more about justification than oopsiness. While I completely respect her opinion that until these companies FULFILL their commitments (as opposed to having just MADE them) they still need pressure put on them, I still don't think it's fair to use an OLD (and fairly antagonistic) position video of Greenpeace's, when Greenpeace themselves have clearly changed their stance on the involved companies. It's sloppy research at best and willfully misleading misquotation at worst. I suspect neither she nor you knew at the time that what you were posting was out of date, but now that you do, leaving them up, or up with no further editing/amending, is just irresponsible.

    I feel a little concerned about your assessment of this being a "wonderful example" of anything. — I should also add here that I don't deserve credit for figuring this out – Richard Semper does. I only looked it up because of his comment. But what about the other 307 page views? Those were all likely by people who came here, watched the video, and now think Dove is a terrible company for how they source palm oil. Based on two and a half year old information! Wouldn't it be better if Elephant columnists fact-checked their own work before posting, rather than tossing out what could be considered (in a worst-case scenario) slander, and then leaving it to the readers to determine if the information is accurate? (And even then, equivocating and defending in the comments section rather than just 'mea culpa'ing, or – better yet – deleting the column?) I'm afraid I don't see this as an example of a success, I see it as an example of a failure. I'm all for the two-way feedback idea in general, but shouldn't the overall onus be on the publication itself to be the bearer of (accurate) information, so that the readership has at least a fundamental trust that what's being presented is being done so with a good-faith effort to faithfully represent the facts? Is "we're just a blog, not real journalism" ever valid excuse to run fast and loose with the truth?

  14. Venus Llanet says:

    Your blog offers a lot of unique insights and wisdom. I haven’t really thought about it like that. Please keep updating your site. I will be stopping by every time u do it .

  15. Shelli Meyers says:

    Rose – that is a powerful, optimistic view, and I applaud you. I guess maybe I don't have quite that much faith, or patience, but I am willing to work with the reality of the "old paradigm" while the brave new world we all dream about is not yet fully manifest. I think what I'm striving for, rather than to replace those in power with some new people/companies/organizations that I like better, is to transform the attitudes and deeds of those already in power. My guess is that real change in history is achieved by the success of both of these approaches, so more power to us! 🙂

  16. […] No more than one year old, Max had fought successfully against the trapping, hunting and forest clearing industries that endangered his short life. But with one last breath, he finally lost his battle, becoming one of several thousand orangutans killed annually by a barbaric agricultural farming process and becoming a victim of a different kind of oil spill: the trade in palm oil. […]

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