Palm oil is in everything. We mean, everything. When you venture down the aisles of your local supermarket roughly half of the products in there contains the stuff. So, even if you think you don’t use it, you probably do.
In the last few years, it has faced serious scrutiny in the media and among conscious consumers worldwide but that begs the question: what makes palm oil so bad, and what can we do about it?
Unsustainable palm oil is a serious contributor to deforestation around the world, most notably in Indonesia and Brazil. The reason it has such a catastrophic impact on the environment is due to the ‘slash and burn’ technique employed by many farmers.
This method means that large scale areas of protected rainforests are used for palm plantations; the crops are cut, harvested, and then whatever’s left is burned. This ensures a high turnover for farmers but obviously setting large areas of land that border protected rainforests is not the most controlled way to go about things, meaning that lots of little critters die in the process and global gas emissions go up.
Although this seems dire there is a way around it and here’s where RSPO comes in.
RSPO stands for Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil and they’re a savvy system in which farmers and smallholders undergo training in sustainable practices. This includes teaching producers about capitalising on their yield, producing more oil over a smaller area and thus gaining more profit. It’s a win-win, right?
By now, however, you’re probably wondering ‘why palm oil, can’t we just use sunflower, coconut or vegetable oils?’. Well, the thing that makes palm oil so special is that it has the highest yield of any oil producing plant so when managed correctly it actually decreases deforestation. This extremely diverse oil and can be used across the board; from ice cream to soap to lipsticks and even biofuels. Additionally, it is great for the economy, an estimated 4.5 million people in Indonesia alone gain an income from farming palm oil, often bringing families out of poverty and ensuring that their children are fed and educated. Pretty cool, huh?
Consequently, they receive a shiny certificate for their ethical and forward thinking methods and can rest easy knowing no tigers have died at their hands. So, for all you wildlife lovers out there, RSPO is doing great things for the biodiversity for places like Indonesia, and as Attenborough-educated people we all know how important biodiversity is.
Finally, what can you do about it? You might not live in or near a palm oil producing country so the matter might seem a little far reaching. However, the buck stops at you, bud. All you have to do is check that products use RSPO and not the naughty kind. This is easy to do because RSPO products have a stamp on them (or include it in their nutritional areas, like we do) which guarantees the ethical use of palm oils.
If we continue to purchase non-sustainable versions of palm oil then the farmers who have worked so hard to produce environmentally conscious variants of the oil either go out of business or have to resort to unethical means of producing the oil to feed themselves and their families. Life is just sweeter when we help each other out.
So, grab yourself a Justine’s cookie, and rest assured knowing you’re helping millions by choosing an ethical and guilt-free product.
After reading this blog you can gloat at your friends a little too. Spread the word and educate them on sustainable oil production, knowing in your heart that you’ve got the tick from Attenborough, and what a gentle and delightful-sounding tick that is.
Nothing embodies the Christmas fuzzies like this wham classic, despite it’s somewhat heart-wrenching message. Get rugged up with the crew and enjoy whilst skiing in a remote part of the world or add to your boxing playlist as you envisage the face of an ex who gave your heart away at any point. We do not need to isolate this aspect to Christmas as reminders of a psychopathic ex is excellent fuel to your workout fire.
If Beyonce cannot stir the inner fitness guru in you then we don’t know what will. In this rendition of the classic 12 Days of Christmas, the 90’s trio is at it again- pumping seasonal spirit into even the most harrowed of Christmas sceptics. Get down on the treadmill to this remastered classic but watch your sass levels for fear of frightening other gym-goers. If the treadmill isn’t your thing then we strongly encourage a rigorous squat workout or even a self-choreographed dance routine, whether you choose to do this in public or alone this is up to you but we have to caution that sass disclaimer mentioned prior as you may cause those around you to perspire uncontrollably at your imminent hotness.
Despite the generic ‘get money’ attitude of most rappers, the ‘it’s tricky’ boys have honed the true nature of Christmas Spirit in this tune. It mentions the best elements of the season- food, the yuletide log and dogs dressed as reindeer. This comedic take on the festive season encourages long swagger-licious walks about your hood accompanied by hard-to-suppress smiles. Hopefully you’ll be as lucrative as these lads and you’ll stumble upon copious amounts of dough from our old pal Saint Nick too.
This one’s for all you tin-throwing, iron-pumping weights fiends out there. Get psyched to this heavy metal rendition of the classic by Jimmy Boyd. This, of all the songs featured, is the one your pores can unashamedly sweat buckets of nutmeg-scented perspiration to.
Beware of entering hulk mode while getting down to this though, your greenish tinge might confuse others into mistaking you for the grinch. Play your cards right and your heavily flushed cheeks make the perfect Christmas accessory.
If you thought that you couldn’t be a trap queen at Christmas, you were wrong. This dizzy track is aloose take on the ‘all I want for Christmas’ classic and we know which one we would rather be blasting. Fetty spends the entirety of the song crooning to his girl that she can have all her heart desires. Despite the fact that Fetty sounds like he has indulged in the eggnog a little too unabashedly it makes for a welcome change to the generic Christmas tracks. You can slip this one into any workout playlist, especially if you’re someone who dislikes the festive follies as it’s not overtly Christmas-y. In fact, you can barely understand what Fetty is saying so just ride the beat and sweat your little heart out.
It seems that every iconic pop group of the early 2000’s has released a Christmas track at some point in their careers, N*sync is no exception to this. It does not get more cliched that this tune, it is boy band at it’s finest and we love it. The noodle-haired Justin Timberlake fronts nearly the entire song and would we have it any other way? We recommend accompanying a stretching session with the video clip, which is a wintry feast of oversized Christmas jumpers, Santa hats and stockings.
So there it is, one festive sweat session ready to be blasted through your speakers - we've even prepared the beats for you below. And afterwards - why not enjoy a sweet treat?