Has it ever crossed your mind that those cookie crumbs in your lap could be related to the wiping out of the world’s rainforests? Here are the top five offenders that are actually causing trees to get the chop.
The clearing of rainforests to create grassland for cattle to graze on is of huge concern. This will then lead to the degradation of soil and the pollution of rivers nearby.
2. Palm oil
Rainforests, most notably across Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand) are being cleared for palm oil plantations, since this productive oil seed has become the number one food crop worldwide. Palm oil is a common substitute for partially hydrogenated oils and can be found in anything ranging from cookies to cereal or bread.
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The forests of Asia are being destroyed in order to make room for rice fields, “paddies.” Not only is this contributing to the loss of precious land and loss of habitat for many local species, rice fields emit the largest amounts of methane gas, between 50 and 100 million tons a year.
Following the U.S. subsidies tagged to corn for the production of ethanol, production has soared, especially in the Amazon rainforest.
More and more people are choosing to consume less meat, a decision that has led to an increase in demand for soy, the main ingredient used in making tofu (a staple of the vegetarian diet). Soy covers some 11 million hectares of forest across South America.