Could something as simple as switching to a sustainable, ‘haze-free’ palm oil for your cooking needs stop the haze? PM Haze thinks so, and are sharing the message with their Haze-Free Foodstand campaign.
PSI and PSI 2.5. N95. 101-200.
It’s a little sad and almost poignant that most Singaporeans know exactly what these cryptic sets of letters and numbers mean.
Every few years or so, Singapore is enveloped in a thick blanket of haze. And each time that happens, we find ourselves wondering if there’s anything we can do about it. But, like how an apple a day keeps the doctor away, Singapore-based company, PM Haze (or The People’s Movement to Stop Haze), will have you do the same.
Uh, but with sustainable, ‘haze-free’ cooking oil of course.
That’s why they’ve recently launched the Haze-Free Foodstand campaign. Supported by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the campaign encourages business and consumers to choose certified sustainable palm oil. The goal? To put an end to deforestations, environmental degradation while also preventing exploitation.
okay wait, so how exactly does palm oil contribute to the haze?
According to their website, large areas of peatland forests may be cleared and drained to grow palm oil. This makes these areas more susceptible to fire due to the dryness. And of course, with forest fires, you’ve got yourselves yet another a hazy situation.
When produced sustainably however, palm oil can have a positive impact on forests, wildlife and communities involved in its production. It is afterall, a highly versatile, land efficient oil crop.
so what’s that gotta do with us?
Palm oil is found in many common household products and is the most used cooking oil in Singapore – you may even have seen it labelled as ‘vegetable oil’. It’s also used by 90% of eateries in the country.
Feeling a little concerned already? Well, good news because so far, over 30 food establishments have joined the Haze-Free Foodstand Campaign.
Together, they commit to using sustainable palm oil in their recipes. These include popular dining establishments such as Tung Lok Group, nomVnom, Acqua e Farina and even plant-based burger joint, VeganBurg.
Said Alexander Tan, CEO and Founder of VeganBurg, “At VeganBurg, it is important to us that our products do not contribute to deforestation or unethical labour practices. Early on, we recognised the problems associated with palm oil and made the switch to certified sustainable oil for all our products.”
Proving that you don’t have to be a big company to make sustainable choices, close to half of the participants in the Haze-Free Foodstand campaign are home-based businesses. One of them is Aelfira, founder of home-based taqueria, Chicas.
She noted that when it comes to protecting our planet, taking the first step matters. “We play our part by supporting certified sustainable palm oil and hope that it will eventually bring benefits, creating a healthier environment for our community,” she explains.
Heartened by the response from Singapore’s F&B community, Benjamin Tay, Executive Director of PM Haze is glad that so many are willing to do what it takes to make a difference.
“These participating businesses are making a difference by choosing sustainable produce and practices, and by recognising their efforts, we hope to inspire others – business and consumers – to look more carefully at how our individual choices impact the world around us,” he says.