“Riverdale” Star, Nathalie Boltt, Talks about the Dangers of Palm Oil
Written by Sarah Yip-Ono and Emi Stephens
Edited by Judy Hyojoo Rhee
Edited by Judy Hyojoo Rhee
Nathalie Boltt, a star of the Netflix series ‘Riverdale’ visited University Hill secondary on Oct 18, to share her passion outside of acting: saving the natural habitat of orangutans. She talked to Grade 9 students about the destructive environmental impact of palm oil, how Palm Oil Investigations(POI), a non-profit organization, is working to reduce the palm oil consumption and how she became involved with them. Additionally, she discussed her view on how mental illnesses are disconnecting youth from the environment.
Boltt’s interest in saving orangutans originates from her childhood exposure to animal rescue. Her mother runs an animal shelter in South Africa where Boltt grew up. She learned from social media posts about the orangutan’s traumatic experiences at the hands of humans, and the pressure on their natural habitats. Saddened by what she read, Boltt contacted POI to learn more and to volunteer her time.
Boltt is a goodwill ambassador for the POI which is to protect the orangutans by promoting more sustainable palm oil industry practices. The palm oil industry is rapidly growing, because palm oil is found in just about all consumer products used in modern society. The farming and harvesting of palm oil has devastating impacts on the natural rainforests of Borneo and the habitats of the orangutans.
Orangutans are intelligent creatures that deserve to be treated with kindness and sensitivity. They have lived on this planet far longer than we, so we should be protecting their habitats. Instead, we our cutting down all the indigenous trees which provide them with their food and shelter. Baby orangutans are being left with no mothers, and they are starving to death. If we do nothing to help them, future generations will never get to experience the incredible wildlife that exists today
Nathalie Boltt’s talk brought to light what happens to obtain palm oil before we find it in our favorite foods. A lot of kids our age are in the dark when it comes to what palm oil production does to our planet and the many species that call it home. Boltt emphasized what’s happening to the orangutans and ecosystems who’s forests are getting cut down in order to grow more palm trees. Boltt made us all aware of what foods contain palm oil, and encouraged us to check the ingredients of food we are purchasing. Now, as students and teachers who attended the presentation, we don’t have an excuse to not spend a few extra minutes at the grocery store seeing what palm oil-less alternatives we can find to our go to snacks and other packaged treats.
Follow Nathalie Boltt on Instagram and Twitter: @natboltt and also @POI @palmoilinvestigations and @theorangutanproject