SAY NO TO PALM OIL THIS EASTER
This year is flying by and Easter is almost upon us. The last thing you probably think about when indulging in all those delicious chocolatey eggs is the destruction of the Orangutan’s home in the Indonesian jungle. Me either. While I know that the production of palm oil is destroying the habitat of the Orangutans, I really wasn’t aware of how widespread the destruction is. So I did a little reading and scale of devastation shocked me deeply. While the plight of the Orangutan is a sad and important one, there is a broad and frightening range of issues with the production of palm oil.
Let’s look at some of the numbers......
- 300 football field sized areas are cleared every hour for palm oil production
- 50 Million tonnes of palm oil is produced annually
- 40-50% of household products contain palm oil (USA, Canada, Australia and England)
- 5-10 years the Orangutan will be extinct
- Less than 3 years for the Sumatran Tiger
- One third of all mammal species in Indonesia are critically endangered due to unsustainable development
So how does this relate to Easter eggs? Unfortunately, more than half of chocolate treats found on supermarket shelves contain palm oil in some form. Not only that, it can be difficult to determine if a product contains palm oil as Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) allow palm oil to be labelled as vegetable oil. It's a sneaky bugger and goes under many different scientific names that the everyday person is unlikely to recognise such as sodium laureth sulphate, palmitic acid and elaeis gunieensis. The Orangutan Project outline a full list of names that palm oil is likely to be labelled as. A handy tip is if you see cocoa butter on the list of ingredients it most likely doesn't contain palm oil.
But don’t despair! We aren’t going to tell you to not buy chocolate this Easter because there happens to be plenty of palm oil free chocolate available. As consumers become more aware of the issues around palm oil production, pressure mounts on companies to cease using palm oil or switch to a sustainable palm oil supplier. Choosing palm oil free is without a doubt the best option, not only for the environment but also for your health as it’s high in saturated fat (since this is post on chocolate it seems redundant to talk too much about nutrition!). You can be fairly certain a chocolate product contains palm oil if vegetable oil is in the ingredients list, so best to avoid it altogether.
Last year Australians spent approximately $191.4m on chocolate over Easter, so when shopping for Easter eggs this year make the extra effort to choose palm oil free or sustainable palm oil chocolate. I hear you, grocery shopping is already a pain in the behind but if we don’t buy it then companies will stop using it. Switch one thing from your grocery shop to a palm oil free product and you have made a difference. Simple as that.
So what can you buy?
- Chocolate egg with buttons
- Chocolate egg with scorched almonds
- Mini candy-shelled eggs
- Chocolate egg with Freddos
- Continental old gold egg
- Small solid chocolate eggs
- Hollow eggs in boxes
- Hollow egg with Turkish Delight
- Hunting eggs
- Giant Egg
- Crunchie mini eggs
You can find the complete list here.
- Chocolate Bunnies
- Gold bunny and egg pack
- All products
- All products
- All chocolate products