It’s rather difficult finding palm oil free candy in grocery stores these days. I downloaded an app called Buycott which allows you to scan the barcodes of products and get the information you need to make informed decisions about the ingredients and companies. I was curious just how many different candies contained the environmentally devastating ingredient. Turned out, MOST candy contains palm oil. It’s depressing.
What is palm oil?
It definitely has a bad reputation. Palm oil is a VERY popular, cheap vegetable oil found in nearly everything from the foods we eat to our toiletries. It’s even used in animal feeds and used in biofuels. It’s estimated that we each consume nearly 17 pounds of palm oil each year.
Why is Palm Oil bad?
Because of its cheapness and high demand, it has contributed to a devastating amount of deforestation in some of the world’s most biodiverse areas. Habitats for species such as the Sumatran rhino, pygmy elephant, and the orangutan have been wildly destroyed.
What should we do?
As consumers, it gets more overwhelming every single day when it comes to the issues we should be aware of. Ultimately, everything we buy is going to have some sort of negative environmental impact so boycotting palm oil might not necessarily be the answer. I know, GASP. The problem is, palm trees are highly efficient. Today’s palm oil production produces nearly 35% of the world’s vegetable oil production on just 10% of the land. If we were to switch to alternative oils, we’d have to use 4 to 10 times more land causing deforestation and habitat loss somewhere else.
I still feel that reducing our consumption of palm oil is necessary as it puts pressure on companies to ensure their practices are sustainable because they can be! And despite the current RSPO partnerships that many companies are apart of, I do not truly believe these standards are being upheld. That’s why I feel reducing our use of palm oil is key to having these corporations revisit their ethical standards.
6 Palm Oil Free Candy Options to Replace Your Favorites
With Halloween coming up, I felt it was important that I gave some options that could have a positive impact. It’s not always about the packaging. Sometimes the ingredients can be more of an issue and have more of a damaging impact.
- Hershey’s Dark Chocolate – should also be Vegan
- York Peppermint Patties – not Vegan
- AirHeads – Vegan
- Sour Patch Kids – Vegan
- Blow Pops – Vegan
- Nerds – Vegan
For more of my Halloween posts check out:
- Tips for a Zero Waste Halloween Costume
- 8 Zero Waste Treat Ideas for Halloween
- How to Reuse a Halloween Pumpkin