Renewable Energy & Sustainability News

Have a Sweet Spot for Biodiversity This Halloween

If you’ve heard anything about endangered species and deforestation in your lifetime, it’s possible you’ve also heard of the threat of palm oil.  Palm oil is found in mostly everything, from packaged foods to household products, to personal care and cosmetic items. And Halloween candy. It’s cheap. It’s versatile. So what could be so wrong with this vegetable-based oil?

Oil palms only grow in the tropics and were originally native to South America and West Africa. Today, plantations have spread throughout parts of Africa, Asia, North America and South America. Around 85% of all palm oil is produced and exported from Indonesia and Malaysia, countries that are home to two of the world’s most bio diverse rainforests located on the Sumatra and Borneo islands. Sumatra is exclusively Indonesia, while Borneo is divided among Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.

Palm oil is so pervasive and in such high demand, large-scale deforestation of virgin tropical rainforests is occurring. Unique and endangered species like the red ape and Sumatran tigers are facing habitat loss and are being pushed to extinction because of expansive palm oil plantations in these rainforests. According to the World Wildlife Fund, 300 football fields of rainforest are cleared each hour for palm oil production.

Palm oil is an ingredient present in a lot of candies that are on display in the Halloween section at the convenience store right now. This year alone, American consumers are expected to spend $2.7 BILLION on Halloween candy, which is a scarier thought than Michael Myers standing at your window. Now’s the time to be an educated consumer, and use your purchasing power to buy palm oil free treats.  To make it easy for you, I have compiled a list of some palm oil free candies below. Remember, palm oil is often disguised by many different ingredient names (over 200!).   WC&S Alternate Names for Palm Oil  (© Bev Luff 2009) is a good resource that provides an in-depth list of other names used for palm oil. Check it out!

Palm Oil Free Candies:

  • 100 Grand Bar (Nestle)
  • Airheads Extreme Sour Bursts (Perfetti Van Mili)
  • Airheads (Perfetti Van Mili)
  • Baby Bottle Pops (Topps)
  • Cadbury Carmello (Cadbury Schweppes)
  • Chewy Sweetarts (Wonka)
  • Fruit Rollups (General Mills)
  • Fruit Snacks (Kellogs)
  • Gobstoppers (Wonka)
  • Gummy Bears (Brachs)
  • Hersey’s Nuggets –special dark, extra creamy w/ almond, & w/ almond
  • Hersey’s – creamy milk chocolate w/ caramel
  • Hersey’s Milk Chocolate Bars
  • Hersey’s Special Dark Chocolate
  • Hersey’s w/ Almonds
  • Hersey’s Extra Dark Assorted Squares
  • Hot Tamales (Just Born Quality Confections)
  • Jelly Beans (Members Maker)
  • M&M’s – chocolate, w/peanuts & raspberry (Mars/Masterfoods)
  • Mike & Ikes (Just Born Quality Confections)
  • Mint Patties (Pearsons)
  • Mounds (Mars)
  • Nerds Rope (Wonka)
  • Nestle Crunch (Nestle)
  • Raisinettes (Nestle)
  • Reese’s Peanut butter Cup (Hersey’s)
  • Runts (Wonka)
  • Salted Nutroll (Wonka)
  • Skors (Hersey’s)
  • Sour Punch Straws




Say No To Palm Oil

USA Today

Think Progress

Rainforest Action Network

Health in Harmony (palm oil free candy list)

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