The Girl Scouts are finally going to limit the amount of palm oil in their cookies after pressure from a few young girls. Five years ago, two young girls from Michigan started campaigning for the Girl Scouts to remove the controversial palm oil. The production of palm oil leads to the clearing of rainforests and the loss of habitats for orangutans. Loss of habitat has made the number of orangutans dwindle over the years. In 1900, there were an estimated 85,000 Sumatran orangutans in the wild. Today that number has dropped to less than 6,600.
These two young girls were outraged, and made it their mission to change how one company operates in an effort to save the Sumatran orangutans, and their rainforest habitat. At first these girl scouts stopped selling their cookies and encouraged other Scouts to join them. The girls also worked with the Rainforest Action Network and the Union of Concerned Scientists to help lobby other Girl Scouts.
The Girl Scouts have finally responded and have stated in the 2012-2013 cookie season, Girl Scout cookies will have a GreenPalm logo on the box as a “symbol of Girl Scouts’ commitment to address concerns about palm oil production.” MSNBC reports that the Girl Scouts will also start buying GreenPalm certificates, which offer a premium price to producers that use sustainable practices. The Girl Scouts said that they cannot presently completely eliminate palm oils because it’s the only “sturdy oil” on the market.
Even though the Girl Scouts aren’t ensuring that palm oil that leads to the destruction of rain forests will not be completely eliminated, it’s a step in the right direction. The Girl Scouts have downplayed this whole campaign, stating that the amount of palm oil they use is a less than 1% of the world’s usage. Hopefully one day consumers that are environmentally conscious will be able to enjoy delicious girl scout cookies guilt free.
If you would like to make your own girl scout cookies, palm oil free, we have some amazing Girl Scout Cookie recipes here.
Photo Credit: Flickr.com/hinnosaar