Girl Scouts Lobby Kellogg’s to get Palm Oil out of Cookies

Two feisty 15 year olds are pushing Girl Scouts of the USA to remove palm oil from their popular cookies. Rhiannon Tomitshen and Madison Vorva learned that palm oil plantations are used to grow a key ingredient in all girl scout cookies and that ingredient requires farmers to destroy rainforests to make room for the palm plantations.

The two girls take the Girl Scout oath of protecting the environment and limiting resources seriously. Now they want the cookie maker Kellogg’s to follow the same rules and use a blend of different oils that don’t destroy the environment but still taste good and are healthy.

After being inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall work with chimpanzees the girls wanted to raise awareness about orangutans which are often displaced when rainforests are cut down to make room for palm oil plantations in Indonesia. Pygmy elephants and Sumatran tigers are also under threat by the expansion of palm oil plantations.

The rapid growth of the use of palm oil by food manufacturers is in large part due to the fact that the oil contains no trans fats. As more and more companies and food producers remove trans fats from their ingredient list palm oil is becoming a staple. But it does so at the cost of the environment.

After going public with their campaign to remove palm oil from Girl Scout cookies Kellogg’s pledged to buy green palm certificates to invest in the transition to sustainable palm farming. While Tomitshen sees this as a great step in the right direction she won’t be satisfied until the company removes palm oil from Girl Scout cookies and the rest of their products.

She says, “Kellogg’s has the moral authority to remove palm oil from the cookies and do the truly right thing.”

Palm oil is a common ingredient in cookies, candy and ice cream that we all eat every day. But as you take a bit of that Kit Kat bar these two girls would like you to take a moment to think about the orangutans and the rainforest.

“Girl Scouts shouldn’t have to think about rainforest destruction and orangutan extinction or having to struggle with not being able to go to camp because they can’t raise the funds.” — Madison Vorva, Girl Scout and environmental activist

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