Notice that the headline didn’t include my typical, “Or Something”
But you might want to think twice before biting into a tasty treat. Some sweets are harmful to our planet and helping to kill off the critically endangered orangutan.
This Halloween, zoos and conservation groups across the country are encouraging consumers to choose confectionary made from sustainable palm oil or no palm oil at all.
You might think this is typical enviroweenie talk, but, I’ve discussed palm oil before. Rain forests and jungles and such are being destroyed through much of the world, particularly in Asia and the western Pacific, which has created a huge habitat loss, with those creating the palm oil farms even going as far as paying poachers to kill the animals, including orangutans.
Skyrocketing demand for palm oil has come at a steep cost to the Earth. The equivalent of 300 football fields of rainforest is destroyed every hour to make way for palm oil plantations, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. This deforestation has decimated the populations of many vulnerable creatures, including the orangutan, Sumatran tiger and Sumatran elephant. And it’s contributed in no small way to climate change.
Interestingly, some of the skyrocketing usage of palm oil is to create replacement fuels for gasoline. It’s not just candy and cookies and foods.
There are also lots of human rights issues and other environmental issues involved, as well. I’ve leave it up to you to read the article in full, noting that many candy and food companies have stated they will either not use palm oil or only use sustainable (in other words, where the environment is not being destroyed and animals no slaughtered), and end with
Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has created a free sustainable palm oil shopping guide app, aimed at helping consumers find products made by companies that are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.
There are things that we all, as consumers, can do to protect the environment. You don’t have to be a believer in anthropogenic climate change, just a lover of the environment.