If you ask someone where their food comes from, most people will say, Uh, the supermarket?
But, much of our food comes from faraway places, like a lot of the coffee we drink is grown in Guatemala -- not always Arabica.
Same goes for palm oil, a common food additive. However, growing and harvesting palm oil is wreaking havoc on the tropical forests where it is grown.
Palm oil has a lot of uses, from processed foods to cosmetics, plus it's billed as cholesterol-free, making it highly marketable to consumers, despite being a saturated fat.
Palm oil is however, a good source of vitamins E and A, beta-carotene and lycopene.
France's Group Casino supermarkets have pledged to nix palm oil from 200 of its food products. Why? It's not the saturated fat content.
Since palm oil has a long list of consumer applications, plantations are popping up all over Asia. Here's the problem -- flattening rainforest leads to massive deforestation, and destruction of wildlife habitats.
It's a touchy subject. I'm sure in the United States, acres and acres of apple orchards weren't there when the pilgrims arrived.
So sure, slashing and burning land, especially precious rainforests, infuriates people, but many developed nations cut and chopped with reckless abandon for the sake of economic gain, so who are we to get religious all of a sudden.
Do you know of any other foods that have a huge environmental trade off?