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Bonobo Conservation - How to Help

Bonobo Conservation - How to Help

What are Bonobos?

Bonobos are one of the 4 Great Apes, and like many of their ape cousins, they are quickly declining in population. There are an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 bonobos left in the wild,  and this small population is fragmented and decreasing.

Bonobo, Endangered, Ape, chimpanzee

What is causing their population decline, and how can we change it?

The primary threats include Habitat degradation, poaching and hunting, and disease. 

Habitat Degradation is caused by the slash and burn techniques that are still used in the Congo. This practice quickly depletes the soil of its nutrients and requires the clearing of new plots every few planting cycles. This pushes agricultural activity deeper into the rain-forest and destroys the bonobo's natural habitat. A large amount of the deforestation is due to logging and palm oil farms. Check out our blog post on palm oil for more information on how you can indirectly help!

Poaching and hunting are increasing in recent years due to a lack of available food sources in areas where human populations are increasing and poverty levels are following the same trend. Poor infrastructure and sporadic war has caused natives to hunt and smoke bushmeat including apes because it is oftentimes the only available protein source. While we can't force people to starve by completely stopping the bushmeat, we can help by reducing the lack of proteins available

Disease also continues to spread as human contact increases. Many apes are dying due to ebola outbreaks. By reducing the need for humans to push further into the forest, we can decrease the likelihood of disease. 

By donating to the Bonobo conservation Initiative you will be helping save the lives of these endangered species. If you purchase a Bonobo Booty Program, we will donate 10% of the profits to the cause as well.

 

 

Palm Oil and the Environment

Palm Oil and the Environment

What is palm oil?

Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil derived from the fruit of oil palms. This oil is widely used in many processed foods (cookies, candies. cereal, chips and more) as well as cosmetics, soaps and cleaning supplies due to it's low cost and high saturation. The global palm oil market is estimated to reach $92.84 billion in 2021 and one study showed that humans consumed an average 17 pounds of palm oil per person in 2015. 

Does eating locally really benefit the environment?

Does eating locally really benefit the environment?
    We often hear of the benefits of eating locally sourced food, such as better care for the animals, supporting small businesses, getting more organic nutrients, and much more. Although there are definitely benefits of eating locally sourced food, there are many misconceptions surrounding the issue. In this article I will quickly highlight the benefits of eating local sourced food, as well as some of the potential pitfalls and fallacies. 
         Benefits of Eating Locally Sourced Foods:
    1. Local foods are generally more nutritious and better for your body. The longer it takes for food to be consumed, the more processed the food will typically have to be. This will diminish the nutritional value your body receives. Additionally, foods that are shipped to large distribution centers across the country are often mass produced and in efforts to cut costs, there may be less quality control leading to less healthy food in general. Large companies that sell nationwide often use dangerous pesticides on their crops, growth hormones on their livestock, and genetically modify foods to increase the size at the expense of the nutritional value. For example, almost all corn is genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides, so if you have the ability to purchase locally grown corn, the extra cost may be worth it for your own health.
    2. Local foods taste better and support small businesses. Eating locally grown produce tastes better not only because of the effort of small business owners perfecting their craft, but also because of the freshness of the food. While shopping at a local market you will find that most of the products you purchase were probably harvested within the past day. Although the price may be slightly higher, it is usually worth the investment to eat healthier, tastier food and ultimately support the small business owner so that they can continue to provide high quality products.
    3. Eating locally may benefit the environment. This one is debatable since researchers have found that 83% of emissions occur before food even leaves the farm. However, most of this is due to the excessive consumption of meat, especially in larger developed countries like the United States and China. As the global middle class rises in population, so does dairy and meat consumption. At the current rate, farmers will have to more than double their production by 2050 although the population won't have doubled. Producing a pound of chicken or beef requires 4-12 pounds of grain respectively, so it is an incredibly inefficient way to feed the people and has a negative impact on the environment no matter if local or not. Therefore, if plant-based diets are implemented and become the standard, eating locally will be beneficial for the environment. It is common knowledge that trees rid the world of carbon dioxide that damages our environment. What better way to combat climate change than by expanding agriculture on treeless land rather than forests? Imagine a world where instead of seeing farms full of grass and livestock, you see trees and greens providing abundant foods while also helping the earth breathe cleaner air. China and India are ahead of the curve in combating climate change with the planting of trees, and regardless of whether our government decides to make similar decisions, we can always make our own choices to encourage green growth.
    Overall, eating locally is beneficial for many reasons. It is necessary to keep in mind however, that to truly help the environment, a plant-based diet is key. The majority of our nutrients can be healthily consumed from plants in a cheap and highly efficient manner. So, do yourself and our planet a favor, and go buy some locally sourced produce!