Halloween is just around the corner and we can’t wait! However many of the candies Americans will be consuming in large quantities on Oct. 31 contain a little-known ingredient called palm oil, the production of which is decimating rainforests and the animals who call them home, including orangutans, who are being pushed to extinction.
Palm oil, the world’s most-used cooking oil, because its cheap, versatile, and trans-fat-free, is found in everything from 50 percent of the food products we use every day, makeup, biofuels and candles to cleaning agents, and yes Halloween treats. In 2013, the world produced 50 million metric tons of the stuff — in comparison, it produced less than three million tons of olive oil.
Because palm oil production takes place in tropical climates, and palm plantations require a great deal of clear-cut land to produce the oil — this means major deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia.ppihalloween
Laurel Sutherlin, a spokesman for the Rainforest Action Network, explained the dire situation in a recent interview with CNN, “They're as closely related to us as chimpanzees. They, in a very, very real way, are being threatened with extinction, and palm oil is the single biggest threat they face."
You can learn more about the effects of palm oil on the environment and wildlife by reading this article from Friends of Animals called “Rainforest Refugees.”
In the meantime pass on passing out candy that contains palm oil, as well as those with ingredients derived from animals. Check out our list of candy that’s totally cruelty and palm oil free!
Smarties Red Vines Jolly Ranchers Airheads Skittles Dum Dums Blow Pops JuJuBes Pixy Stix Wonka Fun Dip Nerds Yum Earth Organic Pops Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate Minis