However, these goods come at a steep cost to the environment. The harvesting of palm-driven land in Indonesia and Malaysia alone contributes roughly 1.4% of global net carbon dioxide emissions each year, and many of these imported commodities are sourced from illegally deforested land. Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii is planning to introduce a bill to change that.
"I don't think the average consumer knows that half the stuff they buy at the supermarket contains palm oil, and most of that palm oil is from illegally deforested land," Schatz told CBS News.
In Brazil, for example, the vast majority of deforestation is illegal. America is a leading buyer of processed hides (leather) from the country. One commodities expert called the Brazilian rainforest a "free for all" where no one is stopping miners, loggers and ranchers from destroying legally protected, often Indigenous, land.