Biochemist and leading lifestyle expert Dr. Shawn Talbott took his popular From the Lab video series into the heart of the Malaysian rainforests to show his thousands of followers how healthy red palm oil is produced. Talbott, whose appearances on The Dr. Oz Show and association with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program have helped to make him a popular wellness expert, met with officials from the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, a government agency that strictly regulates oil palm plantations. He was specifically interested in learning about their sustainability, and how strict management benefits Malaysia’s many small farmers and their families.

In this video, Talbott explains that oil palms are a high-yielding crop: A single tree can be harvested every two to three months for up to 25 years. 40 percent of Malaysia’s palm fruit supply comes from family-owned farms, which adds to the trees’ sustainability. With deforestation outlawed since the 1990s, Malaysia is the world’s largest producer of Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO). Oil palms are beneficial to the country’s indigenous population as a reliable source of income and its wildlife as a thriving ecosystem. The Malaysian government continues to take measures to protect the environment, including funding DNA research that may result in even more efficient oil palm crops.

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