Palm Oil Guide and Scanner App

I admit, I’m a big fan of orangutans.  So I thought I’d share an app I recently came across, developed by the El Paso Zoo, called Palm Oil Guide and Scanner.  It lets you scan food with your smart phone, and the app tells you whether or not it contains palm oil.  Why is this important?  Well, I’ll let them explain.

The El Paso Zoo presents the Palm Oil Guide and Scanner. Find out what products contain palm oil and how to find alternative products without palm oil. From hand lotion to cosmetics and cookies – and even some “healthy” and organic items – palm oil is used in a variety of products we purchase every day, but the true cost of palm oil is the destruction of tropical forests. Oil palm plantations are expanding around the world as they clear rainforests to make way for larger and new palm production operations. Join the international boycott against products that contain palm oil and purchase similar products that do not contain palm oil. The choices you make every day will help decrease the demand for products that contain palm oil and help increase demand for products from responsible companies. Encourage companies that use palm oil to use alternative oils or palm oil that comes 100% from sustainable plantations that have agreed not to destroy wildlife habitats. Make the right choice today and help protect millions of wildlife and plant species like elephants, tigers, orangutans and countless other rainforest animals.

This scanner is designed to help you make better choices at the store when you purchase food and cosmetic products that might contain palm oil. The choices you make are critical to the survival millions of plants and animals, global efforts to protect biodiversity, the health of the ecosystem and the quality of life for people everywhere.

Not only orangutans’ habitats, but those of many other animals besides, are affected by palm oil production.  I’m going to reduce palm oil from my purchases as much as possible.  Although honestly, it’s going to be difficult.  Even things as seemingly innocuous as my soap contain palm oil.  But I really think orangutans are beautiful, intelligent creatures, and that our world would be worse without them in it.

Satu the Orangutan at the San Diego Zoo

I’m also thinking of “adopting” an orangutan with the WWF, although, I confess, it’s partly because of how cute that plush orangutan looks.  I think he’d fit right in at my desk, watching me run reports at work.

IMG_0705

If you’re looking for other ways to help orangutans, I’d recommend starting with the Orangutan Foundation.

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