Going palm oil free
Is it possible to completely avoid palm oil?

Letter from America

Apologies for the lack of updates – I am currently on holiday in the US. But of course the issue of palm oil in food is worldwide. Today’s focus is on palm oil products and their positioning … but first an excuse to present the raconteur of the original and best Letter from America:

Alastair Cookie

In general is the USA better? That remains to be seen, but reading black lists and anti-palm oil blogs, I doubt it. Classic American cookie brand? Cookie Monster’s favourite perhaps, and this blogger’s one time favourite? Oreos – contain palm oil.

Yesterday I visited Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida. Busch Gardens is a huge amusement park featuring many of the world’s major rollercoasters (not interested) and many of the world’s endangered species (interested!). Included among the animal exhibits are very good interactive great ape enclosures featuring chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.

Busch Gardens are proud of their conservation efforts – primatologists and animal lovers tend to have mixed views on zoos, but this particular one (me) appreciates the job done by good zoos and the necessity to look after the world’s captive populations.

So – palm oil, where does the Busch corporation (specifically Anheuser-Busch, owner of Budweiser) fit in with this? In a rainstorm I settled for a Shamu bar. Busch’s own brand and signature animal (Shamu represents the orcas in the sister park, Sea World), though the ingredients of the whale-shaped choc ice included many processed chemicals, there was no mention of palm oil.

However, in the same freezer and for sale to the melting public were M&M cookie ice-creams. Palm Oil. Also there were Snickers ice-creams. Palm Oil. The same shop also included toffees and sweets from local Orlando confectioners. Palm Oil.

And the list goes on. If Anheuser Busch is proud of the work it does looking after its collection of orangutans then it is a disgrace that it does not highlight the palm oil issue and withdraw palm oil containing products from its many gift shops.

Money for Busch Gardens’ conservation comes from entry fees and money raised throughout the park. Much of this money comes from food in the gift shops selling the USA’s favourite brands regardless of the ethics of their ingredients. Could there be some connection?!

One Response to “Letter from America”

  1. I first visited BG Tampa when I was about 12 years old. It was just the brewery and a petting zoo, then. It’s too bad they’ve expanded to a small zoo because zoos are no places for non-human animals.

    I’m not surprised about the palm oil use. Americans don’t get it. Hell, most of the vegans I know don’t get it. They figure all that vegan “cheese” is so great and damn near all of it contains palm oil from unknown sources.

    The National Zoological Park in Washington, DC is palm-oil free. I’m not sure if that extends to the junk they sell in the vending machines, probably not, but it does apply to any foods they serve on the premises. They also hand out palm-oil free candy at their annual four-day Halloween event, Boo at the Zoo.

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