While it’s generally acknowledged that eating beef can contribute to the destruction of rain forests, there is a totally vegan foodstuff that has recently come under fire for also damaging the tropical forests—Oreos.
According to an article in Fortune, Oreos, along with other snack foods that incorporate palm oil, are being targeted by environmental groups including Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace, and Friends of the Earth. Rainforest Action Network has even asked volunteers to attach stickers to products made with palm oil in their local supermarkets. The stickers read “Warning! May Contain Rainforest Destruction.”
Demand for palm oil has, according to the piece, more than doubled in the last decade, leading farmers in Indonesia and Malaysia to expand their plantations, burning rain forests along the way. And why has this demand increased? Because palm oil makes an OK substitute for trans-fat-laden partially hydrogenated oils.
Though no one is shedding tears for Nabisco (except maybe its stockholders) it does seem like the big snack food companies can’t win for losing.