If you’re planning to celebrate this Valentine’s Day by giving (or perhaps receiving) store-bought chocolates, keep an eye out for candies labeled with a special sticker from the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) warning you to avoid the palm oil found in so many conventional candies.
In a RAN campaign titled “There’s nothing romantic about #ConflictPalmOil,” the stickers are being placed on candies in more than 250 U.S cities on brands such as Hershey’s, Mars, Nestle, and Mondelez (formerly known as Kraft). The point of the stickers is to promote awareness about the dangers of palm oil for humans, animals, and the earth.
As part of the campaign, hundreds of activists have been deployed to place the stickers. The end goal, RAN explains, is change.
In a press release from RAN, Gemma Tillack, Senior Agribusiness Campaigner for Rainforest Action Network, states, “None of America’s big chocolate companies can verifiably ensure that their candies and chocolates do not contain palm oil connected to child labor, land grabs and rainforest destruction.”
Considering that more than 85 percent of palm oil is grown in child-labor heavy areas such as Indonesia and Malaysia, you can probably see how buying such candies really doesn’t bring up warm and loving thoughts, if you really think about it!
“There’s nothing romantic about Conflict Palm Oil,” says Tillack. “No one wants to say ‘I love you’ with Valentine’s candies that cause child labor, land grabbing and rainforest destruction.”
If you want to avoid palm oil candies, look for those that use other alternatives — or, better yet, make your own! Now that’s romantic!