Halloween Candy, Palm Trees and Orangutans

With October here store shelves are lined with bags upon bags of sweet treats, but before you reach for one I challenge you to take a moment to think. Many would assume that I am talking about the nutritional concerns with eating a lot of candy, but that’s not it. What I am talking about is an ingredient in a lot of products out there, it’s palm oil.

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For those of you who don’t know a lot of palm oil is farmed in Malaysia and Indonesia, and the issue is that it is not farmed sustainably. Many groups come though and cut down or burn acres of rainforest at a time taking habitat from both the natives and the animals that call this place home. Most notably orangutans have been hit especially hard and are facing extinction due to lack of habitat.

This is where your Halloween candy comes in. Many companies have pledged to sustainable farming of palm oil and they have taken an interest in lessening their impact on the world as a whole. The flier below is a shopping guide for Halloween treats put out by some of the zoos’ dedicated to helping fight deforestation. Also for more information you can visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s site on Palm Oil Crisis.

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So before you reach for those treats think how your actions could affect an Orangutan half way around the world; I know they would thank you for it.

Halloween Shopping guide: http://www.czs.org/CZS/brookfield/media/BZEvents/Boo%20at%20the%20Zoo/2011-Halloween-Guide.pdf

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: http://www.cmzoo.org/conservation/PalmOilCrisis/

In sisterhood,

Amanda Stephens-Roberts

Images cited: http://blogs.ublabs.org/crittercorner/2010/10/29/orangutan-trick-or-treat/

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