Home       About us   Issues     Search     Submission Subscribe   Contact    Login 
Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
Users Online: 2124 Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

SPECIAL SECTION: RATIONAL ACTOR LEGACY
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 257-267

Trading Fat for Forests: On Palm Oil, Tropical Forest Conservation, and Rational Consumption


Department of Anthropology, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA

Correspondence Address:
Cindy Isenhour
Department of Anthropology, University of Maine, Orono, ME
USA
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.145136

Rights and Permissions

The longstanding butter vs margarine debate has recently become more complex as the links between margarine, industrial palm oil plantations, and tropical deforestation are made increasingly clear. Yet despite calls for consumers to get informed and take responsibility for tropical deforestation by boycotting margarine or purchasing buttery spreads made with sustainably-sourced palm oil, research in multiple contexts demonstrates that even the most aware, engaged, and rational consumers run into significant barriers when trying to reduce their environmental impacts. This paper supplements important critiques of neoliberal conservation at the site of extraction or intended conservation (Carrier and West 2009; Igoe and Brockington 2009; Bόscher et al. 2012), with empirical research from the other end of the commodity chain. It argues that programs which place faith in the ability of rational consumers to influence conservation outcomes through their choices on the market, neglect significant structural constraints and overestimate the efficacy of market choices. While careful to recognise the importance of civic pressure for policy legitimacy, this article also contributes to a special section on rational actors, calling into question the dominant ideology of free and rational choice that undergirds so many market-based conservation programs.


[FULL TEXT] [PDF]*
Print this article     Email this article
 Next article
 Previous article
 Table of Contents

 Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
 Citation Manager
 Access Statistics
 Reader Comments
 Email Alert *
 Add to My List *
 * Requires registration (Free)
 

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed3812    
    Printed63    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded598    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal