Annie sat at her cluttered desk, her fingers tapping rhythmically on the keyboard. She was about to write another blog, but this one felt different. It was a topic close to her heart that had haunted her for years. She glanced at the framed photograph of lush rainforests hanging on her wall, starkly contrasting the reality she was about to describe.

Across the room, LJ, her environmentally conscious husband, sipped his chamomile tea. His eyes smiled as he looked at her. “You, okay?”

Annie sighed. “Remember that blog I wrote a few years ago, Passing on Palm Oil? It’s everywhere—our food, cosmetics, cleaning products, and we are all paying the cost unbeknown to many. The rainforests are being razed, orangutans are losing their homes, and the planet is heating up.

LJ leaned forward, his curiosity piqued. “Tell me more.”

“After I posted that blog, I heard from people all over the world. Even the Rainforest Foundation sent me a note of thanks, but I am not sure how many are actually reading labels and refusing to buy products that contain palm oil today. In the meantime, the deforestation of the rainforests continues. Entire ecosystems are vanishing and with them countless species.

“From where you sit, what does the future look like?”

Annie smiled thoughtfully. “There’s a glimmer of hope. I listened to an interview on NPR a few days ago about a tiny revolution brewing in the labs of C16 Biosciences. This relatively new company has developed Palmless, a bio-manufactured alternative to palm oil. They labeled the first batch Save the F***ing Rainforests, which immediately sold out. What they have created means that instead of vast palm plantations, we have yeast-fermented sugars. Yes, yeast! They produce Palm-less oil instead of chopping down trees.”

LJ raised an eyebrow. “Yeast? You mean like a sourdough starter?”

“Not quite. C16 Biosciences uses synthetic biology to engineer oil-producing yeast. They mimic brewing beer, but instead of hops, they create palmless oil.

Annie pulled up a colorful infographic. “Palmless oil can replace palm oil in food, cosmetics, and even candles. It’s a cleaner choice, LJ. No deforestation, no orangutan deaths.”

LJ scanned the list. “How does it perform?”

“Better than palm oil,” Annie said. “It’s stable, versatile, and doesn’t contribute to climate change. Plus, it’s cruelty-free.”

LJ leaned back, his mind racing. “Imagine if every food manufacturer, every soap company, switched to palmless oil. We’d save rainforests, curb emissions, and protect biodiversity.”

Annie nodded. “And consumers hold the power. Choosing products made with palmless oil means a vote for a greener future.”

“LJ, we need to spread the word. Maybe a new blog that introduces palmless oil is a good start. Will you co-author it?”

“I’m happy to be the co-author. Palmless oil is a beacon of hope—a way to pass on palm oil and its destruction. Maybe one day we’ll see orangutan populations increase again, and our planet recovers.”

“I’m all for being part of a movement fueled by science, compassion, and a palm oil-free future.”

 

Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.

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