Coconut oil production may be more damaging to the environment than palm oil, researchers say.
The issue of tropical forests being cut down for palm oil production is widely known, but the new study says coconut oil threatens more species per metric ton produced than palm or other vegetable oils.
The researchers use this example to highlight the difficulties of “conscientious consumption”. They say consumers lack objective guidance on the environmental impacts of crop production, undermining their ability to make informed decisions.
“The outcome of our study came as a surprise,” said lead author Erik Meijaard*, of Borneo Futures in Brunei Darussalam. Many consumers in the West think of coconut products as both healthy and their production relatively harmless for the environment. As it turns out, we need to think again about the impacts of coconut.”
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