My "10 Weeks in Asia" class recently studied Indonesia and discovered that clearing land for palm oil plantations is a major reason for loss of rainforest in Indonesia, particularly on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, as well as for smoke that occasionally blankets Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and elsewhere in southeast Asia. But students also discovered that the issue is complex and that saying "no" to palm oil is perhaps not as productive as saying "yes" to sustainably sourced palm oil. For those who may be looking for sustainably sourced candy for Halloween, Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo has put together a list of options: www.zoo.org/palmoil
Interested in finding sustainable palm oil products other than candy? There's an app for that, courtesy of Colorado Spring's Cheyenne Mountain Zoo: look for the "Sustainable Palm Oil Shopping" app for Android or iOS. Just scan a product's UPC to find out if it uses sustainably sourced palm oil or not.
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