You may already know that our favorite red-headed ape, the orangutan, is critically endangered, but did you know the candy you hand out this Halloween may further endanger this species and many others?
Due to its versatility and low cost, palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world and can be found in about half the items you buy at the grocery store, including candy. Unfortunately, its use comes at a massive cost to our rainforests. Over 8.6 million acres of forest in Indonesia and Malaysia have been destroyed for palm oil production, a number that continues to grow. This is bad news for orangutans, tigers, elephants, rhinos, and dozens of other species of animals and birds.
So how can you help? Luckily, you don’t have to swear off candy this Halloween. (Phew!) There are plenty of delicious candies that are palm oil-free or made with sustainable palm oil. We can already hear your sigh of relief as you read the list of palm oil-free candies below…
Hershey’s bars & kisses (recipes vary - check the label)
M&M’s (recipes vary - check the label)
Reece’s peanut butter cups (recipes vary - check the label)
Jolly rancher hard candies
Nerds (recipes vary - check the label)
Red hots original
These are just some of the popular candies you can buy to enjoy Halloween and help the rainforests. The bad news? Recipes can vary from candy to candy within the same company (some, like Reece’s peanut butter cups, even vary from wrapper to wrapper!), so you’ll need to read labels to double-check. The good news? Cheyanne Mountain Zoo has done most of the leg-work for you with their handy-dandy app! Look for the free “Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping” app, do a quick product search or barcode scan, and the app will tell you if the product or brand is orangutan friendly. Pretty cool, huh?
Now that you’re in the know, you can help save the rainforests this Halloween and all year long by being a savvy shopper. Give yourself a high-five!
Wonderful information and knowledge! I will choose my candies with extra care! Thanks!