Pet food and palm kernel meal
Cats, dogs, pigs, cows and goldfish. Some are pets, some are farm animals which provide us with food or milk, but one thing they do have in common - they are contributing to the destruction of Asia’s rainforests.
At the centre of the oil palm fruits, much like a nectarine, there is a stone, or ‘kernel’ and this is chopped and mashed up to produce the high protein ingredient palm kernel meal.
All the way from Asia, pets all over the country are eating food containing palm kernel meal. Imported products are products grown or made in other countries and then shipped to the UK, the opposite of this is exports - products made in the UK and sent to other countries. Many of the food companies importing palm oil for use in our foods choose ‘sustainable’ sources which means that more care and responsibility is taken and areas rich in wildlife and animals are protected. But when it comes to the palm kernel meal used in pet food there’s a different story.
The UK uses a considerable 10% of the global supply in palm kernel meal, and 80% of this is used in animal feed. The problem is that 0% of the ingredient is sourced from sustainable sources, which means that farmers could be destroying the most species-rich rainforests in the world. One victim of palm oil plantations is the orangutan. Sadly, experts believe deforestation for palm oil is the single greatest threat to orangutans in the wild.Read More: Palm Oil and the Orangutan