As a nature lover and someone who cares deeply about all human beings and animals, I am honored to share today a guest post written by Laurel Sutherlin of the non-profit group Rainforest Action Network (RAN). Today RAN has released a new video discussing the impact of palm oil on orangutans in honor of their new campaign that aims to remove “Conflict Palm Oil” from America’s snack foods by convincing major food companies to implement responsible palm oil policies. The companies who were publicly announced at the Chicago Board of Trade are being called “The Snack Food 20” and include some of America’s most popular brands such as Pepsi, Heinz, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smuckers. Here is the story.
The facts are clear: Orangutans are going extinct for palm oil. Palm oil is a cheap product used in much of the Western world’s snack food products. Take a look at the label on your food and you will see for yourself that palm oil is often a main ingredient because it is cheap and plentiful.
Yet have we ever stopped to take a look at what our use of palm oil is doing to the environment and more so, to some of the most precious wildlife we have on Earth?
“In the 21st Century customers don’t want to buy crackers and cookies that are responsible for pushing the world’s last wild orangutans to extinction and for horrifying child labor violations. That’s why Rainforest Action Network is putting these top 20 snack food companies using ‘Conflict Palm Oil’ on notice that it’s time to develop responsible policies and create products that reflect the values of their customers and the needs of our planet,” said Lindsey Allen, the Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network.
Before I present the facts in a guest post below, please take a moment to watch this beautiful short two-minute video on what palm oil in our snack food is doing to threaten the orangutans. The video is a touching exchange in sign language between a young girl and an orphaned orangutan whose home has been destroyed by palm oil. You are sure to be very moved by it.