Although I rarely ate it in college myself, those college food staples — Top Ramen and Cup Noodles — contain palm oil. Proof that it’s freakin’ everywhere. My employer, a small company that tries to emulate the Silicon Valley big boys like Google whenever possible, provides snacks and food to its employees. It’s a very sweet, morale-building gesture that I admire very much. Unfortunately, much of these snacks also have the dubious distinction of containing palm oil. I saw two big boxes of Cup Noodles today in the kitchen, reached for one cup a bit hungry, and was shocked to see palm oil in the ingredients (not really, actually). So I promptly put it back and quickly wrote the Japanese noodle company Nissin an email. Here’s their lightning quick response (sent in the short time it took me to press “send” and to go/return from my garaged car with my “Beware, this Product May Cause Orangutan Extinction” stickers to plaster on said box).
Thank you for contacting us regarding Nissin products. We appreciate the time you took to share your views with us.
We use only the finest ingredients to provide the very best taste. All the ingredients used in our products are approved by the government as safe for consumption. Additionally, all of our Palm Oil suppliers belong to the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) www.rspo.com.
We welcome feedback from consumers and will forward your comments to our Research & Development department. Thank you for your interest in our products.
RSPO membership means absolutely nothing these days (see below links). Even the WWF (a co-founder of RSPO) has asked for more than mere membership and RSPO certification now, ever since the RSPO just allowed the “sustainable” label to be used in conjunction with secondary deforestation in Indonesia. What absolute rubbish that is.
I will ask the nice person who stocks our company kitchen to reconsider the Cup Noodles purchase (and Mrs. Field’s cookies). Sorry fellow employees. We don’t have the luxury of time on our side.
- Memo to WWF: Destroying rainforests and peatland for palm oil is not “sustainable” (climate-connections.org)
- Why ‘RSPO Sustainable Palm Oil’ is not responsible (understory.ran.org)
- Avoid Products That Contain Unsustainable Palm Oil (gettingonmysoapbox.wordpress.com)
- Greenpeace statement: RSPO revisions too little and too late (dominicantoday.com)