The Trouble with Palm Oil
The last project the Global Warming Express kids started, before school ended on May 20th, was a letter writing campaign about palm oil. They watched a segment of the HBO special called “The Years of Living Dangerously,” which featured Harrison Ford learning about global warming, and about how Indonesia and other countries are adding to the warming by burning down their rainforests and planting palm trees instead. The palm oil problem is a Big Problem, and the GWE kids were shocked see that they were contributing to the problem, as well!
You see, 40-50% of all the snack foods that they (and all kids, and even grownups) eat is made with palm oil. Even your parents’ shampoo probably has something made of palm oil in it. Yikes! When the GWE kids found that out, they decided to write letters to the food stores in town, starting with Trader Joes, explaining the problem and asking them to stop carrying products made with palm oil. (Amea’s letter was especially good. You can read it below.) The manager of the Santa Fe
Trader Joes has already sent all of the kids’ letters to the corporate headquarters. This summer, they will be writing a lot more letters to a lot more stores. Can you imagine what would happen to the companies that produce snack foods if all of the grocery stores in this country decided not to carry products with palm oil?
Just this week, Marina and I met with Lindsey Allen, the woman who is in charge of the Rainforest Action Network. Lindsey and Marina talked about how important it is to have a lot of groups all over the country do protests AT THE EXACT SAME TIME of things like palm oil. She said that, when that happens, the media (newspapers, television, radio and internet news) from all over the country — and sometimes all over the world — reports on the protests. This has already caused a lot of palm oil buyers, like Disney, surprisingly enough, to stop buying all palm oil from sources that do not produce it sustainably. She and Marina are working on a way for the Global Warming Express kids to help RAN get kids to create protests across the country! If you want to join us, just email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org!