by Jason Goldman for KCET
Orangutans are dying and your Halloween candy could be making things worse.
Well, sort of. Swaths of primary forest in Sumatra and Borneo are being lost either to logging or to palm oil plantations. And those are forests that the endangered red apes rely upon for their very survival.
If you’re up on biodiversity threats around the world you’ve surely heard of the threat of palm oil, a substance included in lots of packaged foods, but if you haven’t, it would be hard to know whether your favorite snacks – or, indeed, your favorite Halloween treats – contain it. That’s because “palm oil” rarely shows up on the ingredients list. It hides behind scary-sounding words like “sodium lauryl sulfate” or “sodium laureth sulfate.” When people purchase products at the supermarket that contain palm oil, demand for the product goes up, and that accelerates the destruction of the rainforests.
This excerpt for a news article appeared in and is courtesy of KCET online and can be read in its entirety here.