Kar’s Nuts – Contains Palm Oil But Is It Sustainable?


IMG_1544 I needed some candy at work the other day, but reached for a Kar’s Nuts “Sweet n Salty Mix” bag instead of candy. While chomping away somewhat guilt-free, I read the ingredients. Uh oh. Palm oil.  Now I feel really guilty. I quickly wrote them, espousing the evils of palm oil as a scourge on earth. Here’s their response:

The Palm Kernel Oil in Sweet N Salty Mix is Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Certified. The RSPO is a “not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.” They work to minimize the negative impact of palm oil cultivation on both the environment and communities in palm oil-producing regions of the world. For more information, please refer to http://www.rspo.org.

Our Certified Palm Kernel Oil must originate from a plantation managed and certified per the principles and criteria of the RSPO. For us to claim its usage of RSPO Certified sustainable palm oil, our entire supply chain (producers, refiners, processors, traders, distributors and manufacturers) are required to be RSPO members and RSPO Certified. (There must be a full compliance from the plantation all the way through to the final product in which the palm/palm kernel oil is used, in this case the chocolate gem candy.) Additionally, RSPO members undergo a rigorous initial certification and annual re-certification process which includes onsite audits as well.

Kar’s Nuts takes great care to ensure that our products contain ingredients that are both delicious and sustainable. We have a very detailed ingredient and supplier approval process and many other controls at various steps in our process to ensure that products produced at our facility are of good quality as well as sustainably and ethically sourced.

Sincerely,
xxxxxx
Quality Assurance Manager
Kar’s Nuts

Well, this certainly sounds amazing!  It contains all the right buzzwords, i.e., “from plantation all the way to the final product.”  Great for Kar’s Nuts!  Sounds like they’re aware of the huge, soul-sucking palm oil problem.

But then I despaired. Why? Because RSPO.  So I wrote them back this morning, telling them that oftentimes RSPO certification isn’t worth the paper it’s written on (for instance, if it’s pursuant to the Green Palm certificates or Mass Balance scheme).  I’ll post their response when I get it.

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Environmentalists Aren’t Perfect – But At Least We Try.


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(Photo credit: @altUSEPA on Twitter. “The Unofficial “Resistance” team of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Not taxpayer subsidized! Environmental conditions may vary from alternative facts.”)

 

Thought for the day:

“Hypocrisy is the gap between your aspirations and your actions. Greens have high aspirations – they want to live more ethically – and they will always fall short. But the alternative to hypocrisy isn’t moral purity (no one manages that), but cynicism. Give me hypocrisy any day.”

Word.

A great article from a year ago in the Guradian:

How I deal with the unbearable hypocrisy of being an environmentalist

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/05/environmentally-friendly-green-living-ideas?CMP=share_btn_tw

 

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EO’s Face Exfoliate – An Environmental Double Whammy?


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My girlfriend bought this product recently. Seeing it in the shower, I used it, being the completely confident, comfortable metrosexual that I am. As I scrubbed away on my face, I got that sinking microbead feeling. What the hell!? They’ve been made illegal under H.R.1321 – Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015.

As Popular Science pointed out:

[M]icrobeads are “adept at killing marine life and bringing harmful chemicals into the food chain. Since 2012, when researchers searched the Great Lakes for small pieces of plastic and found high concentrations of microbeads, environmentalists have campaigned to ban them.”

http://www.popsci.com/what-are-microbeads-and-why-are-they-illegal

So I checked the ingredients and don’t speak chemistry so that wasn’t much help to me. But I also caught numerous palm oil code words too.  Uh Oh, a dreaded environmental double whammy!?  Microbeads and palm oil?!  In the same product! Two Earth-destroying ingredients in one needless luxury cosmetic?  I had to find out, so wrote them an email.  Here’s their response:

Thank you kindly for reaching out to us and voicing your concern on behalf of the environment. We’re always thrilled to hear from conscientious consumers, so we appreciate your efforts of this research and questioning.

Our everyone™ Exfoliate is made with the wax from Candelilla plants, shown below:

Image result for candelilla plant

Brad Black, one of the co-owners of EO Products, fought tirelessly to push this legislation of ridding the cosmetic industry of miscrobeads, knowing the environmental and ecological impact they caused. A product can have the same semi-rough scrubbing ability while using sustainable plant sources.

As for the two Palm Oil ingredients within some formulations, the Ethyl Palmate and Vegetable Glycerin, are sourced from sustainable organic palm grown in Brazil. This organic palm oil is from a company that is RSPO approved. We are not at liberty to disclose the name of our supplier but their company does appear as a member on the RSPO website (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil): http://www.rspo.org/. The other “palm” ingredients you may see are not actually Palm; Palmarosa Essential Oil from the lemongrass family, and then palmitoyl tripeptide is an amino acid used for its anti-aging reduction of wrinkles effect.

At EO we recognize the interdependence of all living things and we take great pride in creating products that are good for both people and the planet. That philosophy is at the core of every aspect of our business, from developing our formulas to sourcing ingredients to manufacturing and operations. For the past 20 years we have been creating body care products using the cleanest ingredients available that are also safe and effective. Hopefully this helps in deciding if our company/product is a good match with you. Please feel free to reach out any time!

So good for EO!  Although I have serious doubts about the RSPO, and harbor more than a heavy dose of skepticism of their organization — and lets hope the Brazilian rainforest isn’t implicated in deforestation here — but we know it’s not from that hotbed of illegal deforestation, palm oil greed and hands-out corruption that is the palm oil (banana) republic of Indonesia.

 

 

 

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Girl Scout Cookies – Still Bad – Still Avoid


It’s that time of year again — friends, family and co-workers pushing Girl Scout cookies, those little, barely-average morsels of palm oil and fat that I don’t think anybody ever liked.

Nowadays, I just avoid certain supermarket entrances to keep from having to have sweet, well-intentioned girl scouts ask me if I want buy their shitty cookies. Rather than give them a whole spiel on what “Mass Balance” RSPO palm oil means, that they won’t necessarily understand anyway (without them thinking I’m some old cranky crackpot), and how it’s killing orangutans, among other serious environmental crimes, I just avoid them all together. Better not to crush young, idealistic minds just yet. That’s what religion and adulthood is for.

At any rate, Little Brownie Bakers, who bakes the Girl Scout Cookies, use “Mass Balance” palm oil.  Here’s the absurdly obvious and simplistic infographic from the RSPO website.

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That’s literally mixing shitty, bad palm oil with less, shitty, less bad palm oil.

Enough said.  Boycott them — and if you have the sort of disposition to politely educate the young scouts, please do.

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Palm Oil Company KORINDO Breaks Its Own No Deforestation Pledge


captureToday started bad and went worse from there.  I was awoken at 5:30 by my dog’s desperate desire to get outside (in the rain) to relieve itself, but it had already blessed our bedroom carpet.

Then the weak-ass U.S. Senate votes 52 – 46 to confirm the WORST possible political hack to head the EPA.  This goes back to the old Vietnam-era strategy:  if these new conservatives really want to save the EPA, they’re going to destroy it first.  They’re firebombing environmental laws from within.

Now this:  News reports that the palm oil company PT KORINDO has gone back on its no deforestation pledge.

Here’s the link to the 7 minute video piece (WordPress doesn’t support my framing it here, apparently).

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2017/s4622175.htm

Korindo has a Facebook page if you wish to grace it with the same protesting animal excrement that my dog left on my bedroom floor this morning.

https://www.facebook.com/Ptkorindo-330058453730011/

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THIS Is Why The RSPO Doesn’t Mean Shit!


I got into a disagreement with Seventh Generation recently.  They were hiding behind their RSPO sustainability certification, which I informed them didn’t mean shit.

Well, here’s this graphic story (sorry).

Apologies the English is not so good, so I will try to edit (thus the brackets []):

An orangutan [has been] shot to die between block F11- 1F12 and then [] slaugthered in the Camp Tapak, PT Susantri Permai in Kapuas, Central Kalimantan. This company is subsidiary of the Genting Plantation Berhad, a member of RSPO. This is a serious crime in Indonesia. This is [] [also] a serious violation of principles and criteria of RSPO. This is [] evidence that this company location is overlapping with orangutan habitat. RSPO has enough reasons to KICK Genting Plantation OUT  from RSPO.

And this horrible photo.  Apparently, the workers killed and ate the orangutan for bushmeat after it wandered into the company’s plantation.

 

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Now a case could be made that this palm oil company treats their workers so atrociously that they have to go out and kill for their own sustenance – but I’m sure as hell NOT going to make it for them.)

Nevertheless, this is WHY palm oil is so bad for everybody — the forests, the orangutans, rhinos, elephants and other critically endangered species who live there, the people displaced from their ancestral lands, and the workers, who are treated like slaves many times. Only good for the greedy palm oil companies.

How do you like them NON-SUSTAINABLE apples, Seventh Generation!?

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Use Dr. Bronner’s SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL Soap For Other Household Needs


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My ideology just ran right up against greenwashing Seventh Generation’s wall of marketing and bullshit (see immediate below blog piece).  So it got me looking for alternatives to avoid buying Seventh Generation, which hides behind RSPO sustainable palm oil CREDITS!

Not good enough. That means they’re still deforestating.

So, I’m reminded of Dr. Bronner’s, which uses only sustainable palm oil from their OWN plantation in Ghana.

https://www.drbronner.com/all-one-blog/2016/11/fair-trade-safianu-moro-works-make-ethical-palm-oil/

So go buy Dr. Bronner’s soap (no orangutan-killing palm oil in there).  And use their handy-dandy chart below to use truly SUSTAINABLE palm oil soaps in your own home.

DILUTIONS CHEAT SHEET FOR DR. BRONNER’S CASTILE SOAP

Download PDF Document

Dilute! Dilute! OK!* But how much? Here is a quick reference. None of this is a hard and fast rule. If your stuff is really dirty or your water is really hard, then you may want to use more than the recommended amount. However, this should get you started. You’ll notice that for some applications, I recommend pre-diluting the soap – combining the soap with water in a container. For other applications, the soap is diluted by the water present in the situation. It’s a matter of personal preference. Keep in mind that if you predilute, you are also diluting the preservative (tocopherols – vitamin E), so the shelf life drops. Use within a couple weeks. And yes, there are 18 uses here.Dr. Bronner's Castile Liquid Soaps

* Long time Dr. Bronner’s users will remember this expression from the old labels.

Body Uses:

Face: 2-3 drops on wet hands, applied to wet face

Body: one small squirt on a wet washcloth, applied to a wet body

Hair: ½ Tbsp. in your hand, worked into wet hair, or dilute ½ Tbsp. in ½ a cup of water and work that into wet hair

Bath: Completely depends upon water amount, but roughly 2 Tbsp. soap in an average sized tub. (Doesn’t bubble, but still cleans)

Shaving: Face – 10 drops; Underarms – 3 drops; Legs – ½ tsp; Work to a lather in wet hands and then apply to area.

Teeth: 1 drop on a toothbrush. (Yes, it tastes like soap.)

Foot Bath: 1 ½ tsp. in a small tub of hot water.

Clearing Congestion: 1 Tbsp. in a bowl of steamy hot water. Breathe in mist with a towel draped over the head.

Household uses:

Dishes (handwashing): Pre-dilute 1:10 with water. Squirt on a scrub brush and scrub dishes.

Laundry: 1/3-1/2 c. of soap for a large load in a normal washer. Add ½ c. vinegar to the rinse cycle. Use half of these amounts for HE

Mopping: ½ c. of soap in 3 gallons of hot water

All-purpose cleaning: ¼ c. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree essential oil if desired.

Windows: 1 Tbsp. soap in a quart of water in a spray bottle. Follow up with pure club soda, or half vinegar/ half water.

Toilet: Predilute 1:4 with water in a squirt bottle. Add ¼ tsp. tea tree oil. Empty toilet, squirt bowl thoroughly, sprinkle baking soda on the brush, scrub bowl, let sit 10 minutes, turn water on, flush.

Other Uses:

Fruit and Veggie Rinse: 1 dash (approx.. ¼ tsp.) in a bowl of water. Dunk produce and swish. Then rinse in clear water.

Dog washing: Amount varies widely depending on size, hair type and length, and overall dirtiness. I wet my dog thoroughly, then start to work in castile soap up and down their body until I have a good lather. Really massage it in down to the skin. Your dog will thank you for it.

Plant spray for bugs: 1 Tbsp. in a quart of water. Add ½ tsp. cayenne pepper or cinnamon, if desired.

Ant spray (not on plants): ¼ c. tea tree soap in a quart of water. (This concentration will burn plants.)

I’ve tried to keep this short and sweet. If you have any questions, please ask away!

To download a one page copy of this cheat sheet, click here.

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