I reached for a snack in my ex-employer’s kitchen recently. I obviously looked for palm oil on the ingredients label. Sure enough, it’s there. What else is new?! Its in over 50% of our products.
I fired off my usual stern palm oil warning to the company:
Your label indicates your company uses the evil known as palm oil. Please tell me from where your company sources its palm oil.
The unchecked demand for palm oil is destroying the world’s “lungs.” This demand for palm oil leads to:
1. The destruction of rainforests;
2. The death (and torture) of critically endangered species who inhabit it, like the orangutan, Sumatran tiger, pygmy elephant in Southeast Asia, etc. — and now chimpanzees and gorillas in Central Africa, not to mention other species in South American (Brazil and Peru);
3. The displacement of human inhabitants who depend on the rainforest for sustenance;
4. The enslavement of the poor in atrocious plantation working conditions;
5. The exacerbation of global warming.
Does KIND feel it is doing right for the world it is handing over to future generations?!
Here’s their response:
Thank you for contacting KIND and for providing us with your valuable input concerning palm kernel oil. It is always important to hear from our customers, and we appreciate the time you’ve taken to write to us.
At KIND, we also share your concern about environmental practices and I am pleased to inform you that our palm kernel oil provider is a certified member of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil).
We use palm kernel oil in the bars containing chocolate or yogurt, because it keeps those coatings from melting during transport and is a healthier alternative to hydrogenated oils that contain higher levels of saturated fat. It is also non-GMO.
Thank you again for your feedback. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions in the future.
Customer Experience Representative
Being a member of the RSPO means nothing to me. On this Earth Day (though every day is Earth Day to me), I’d like to point out that deforestation has DOUBLED in recent years despite the RSPO. And 60 to 70 percent of deforestation is due to illegal activities (Source: The recent VICE episode on HBO about palm oil and its threat to “cheap” rainforest land and critically endangered species who live there, like the beloved orangutan) — and some of that illegal palm oil is bought by mega-corporations, who do not verify their OWN supply chain always.
So I fired back another email:
Pardon me, but the RSPO is little more than a “greenwashing” organization run by greedy palm oil companies looking to hide their environmental atrocities under the guise of environmental stewardship.I do not believe your company uses sustainable palm 0il, because there is no such thing as sustainable palm oil…yet. Do you get it from Indonesia/Malaysia, or from South America or Central Africa? From where do you source it?I will post your response on my palm oil blog and continue to urge a boycott of all products that use palm oil, unless you can convince me otherwise.
I have yet to receive a response. But I couldn’t help but notice that a “Communications Manager” at KIND (name withheld) has recently checked out my LinkedIn profile. I guess KIND has absolutely no response that will placate and alleviate my very real concern.