How to Make Palm Oil

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On a past trip north of Kindu DRC I had the chance to watch some folks (actually they seemed like a pretty tight family group) making palm oil. This is how it works:

Boil up the palm kernels and hopefully have someone laughing at you while you do it.
Free advice: while the several species of palm trees look somewhat similar, their products are quite different. Thus, the process here works well with the kernels from the oil palm tree, but probably not so well with the products of date or coconut palms.

Then you get a group of eager helpers to squash the cooked kernels in a device designed to do exactly that. Let’s call it the palm-kernel-squashing-device.

That palm-kernel-squashing-device has a sub-ground outlet that you will want to hook up something like this (and please note the large barrel set up to collect the palm oil from the pipe).
You might also consider hiring a couple of chickens, as this family apparently did, to eat up the off-flow from the palm oil pipe.

Then you have a more grandmotherly type of person do the job requiring some patience: filtering the palm oil.

And almost finally, please find some folks to carry your palm oil to market. This will probably happen in a well-used plastic container that may not have been washed much.

And finally, with some hope your palm oil will not get mixed up with the many similar looking yellow containers of diesel being shipped up the Congo River.









About This Place…

"This website is dedicated to the many people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have suffered and died."

 

The writer was a journalist, prosecutor, and Canadian soldier who is now trying to help the people who live in the DR Congo.

 

The photographs and the commentary here are solely those of the writer and his pet dog named "Bark." The United Nations and MONUSCO have nothing to do with this website.

Similarly, the township of Puskokum in eastern Tennessee is equally not interested.