one green planet
one green planet

Rainforest Action Network have announced a new campaign to remove “conflict palm oil” from America’s snack foods by shining a light on the big companies still using the devastating oil.

In a protest at Chicago’s Board of Trade the group publicly named the 20 snack food companies they will call on to implement responsible palm oil policies. The companies control some of America’s most well-known brands including Pepsi, Heinz, Hersheys and Kraft.

Palm oil is found in roughly half the packaged goods on supermarket shelves and its use in the US has grown nearly 500 percent in the past decade. Exploding demand for the oil has come at an enormous cost to the environment and the communities of Sumatra, Indonesia and Borneo, Malaysia. We are left with only 60,600 orangutans as invading palm oil plantations push humankind’s closest kin to the brink of extinction.

Unaware of the path of destruction carved out by palm oil plantations? Click here to get up to speed.

RAN also released a report, Conflict Palm Oil: How US Snack Food Brands are Contributing to Orangutan Extinction, Climate Change and Human Rights Violations, which details the environmental and human rights problems caused by palm oil production.

RAN believe Americans would think twice about their sneaky afternoon chocolate bar if they were aware of its connection to rainforest annihilation and the rapidly disappearing orangutan.

“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,” said Lindsey Allen, Executive Director of Rainforest Action Network.

But even reading the packaging isn’t a sure-fire way to ensure your dollar isn’t contributing to the problem. Many companies use less recognizable names to denote palm oil on ingredients lists, causing RAN to dub palm oil the U.S snack food industry’s “dark secret.”

The campaign’s “Snack Food 20” includes: Campbell Soup Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc.; General Mills, Inc.; Grupo Bimbo; Hillshire Brands Company; H.J. Heinz Company; Hormel Foods Corporation; Kellogg Company; Kraft Food Group, Inc.; Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Corp.; Mars Inc.; Mondelez International, Inc.; Nestle. S.A.; Nissin Foods Holdings Co., Ltd.; PepsiCo, Inc.; The Hershey Company; The J.M. Smucker Company; Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd.; and Unilever.

Want to get involved? Click here to tell the Snack Food 20 to cut conflict palm oil, not rainforests.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons