Weaning the world off of palm oil


The American start-up C16 Biosciences is replicating the miracle properties of palm oil without the devastating environmental consequences.

Around the world, vegetable fats are progressively replacing animal fats. Palm oil makes up about one third of the world’s vegetable oil production and increased demand is expected well into the future. The average person consumes approximately 8 kg of palm oil a year. Of the palm oil produced globally, 85% comes from Malaysia and Indonesia. While oil palm cultivation has lifted many people out of poverty, it has done so at the expense of the environment. Forests have been cleared to make way for plantations, destroying critical biodiversity-rich habitats of animals like orangutans. C16 Biosciences, an American startup, uses fermentation to convert raw materials into a sustainable palm oil alternative. Their aim is to reduce the environmental footprint of palm oil production and protect precious natural land, wildlife and resources in the process.