The yearly tidal wave of candy that Halloween releases can be hard for many us to reject. Chocolates, caramels, gummies, and those special Halloween treats that only come around near the end of October. It really is a special time of year where we can indulge in the super sweet and reminisce on our Halloween memories. However, during times like these our palm oil consumption expands greatly. The plastic wrappers and sweet sensations blind us to the fact that some of our candy choices are supporting an environmental disaster in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.
Since going palm oil free back in 2016, Halloween has always been the season that pushed by willpower and consumer caution the most. Over the years from first hand experience and online resources I have found, I have learned how best to go about choosing the right candy.
Products Without Palm Oil is a fantastic site that I use frequently. They have an entire page just for Halloween candies! I encourage anyone to check this! This in my opinion is the best resource a consumer can use today.
Although some may argue the point, “but those candies containing palm oil are kids' favorites!” Yes, those are some of the most delicious choices available. However, I think the candy your household chooses to provide trick-or-treaters is a testament to your families respect for the environment. It is also a sign to show a change in consumer choice towards products that are friendlier towards our planet. Do not get tricked this year into making the same mistake.
My blog post, “A Guide to Palm Oil Detection,” is also a great resource. Although not as in depth and specific as Products Without Palm Oil, the post does include some great tips and tricks. For example, the foods types I recommend to always recommend checking the label for are caramels, candy creams, peanut butters, sweet spreads, and pre-made frostings. These foods, as I am sure you are aware, are very common in candies. There are even some candies you would not expect to contain palm oil such as Skittles and Starbursts. I know shocker. In terms of “safe” candy, solid chocolates will be your best bet. Hersheys, Mars, and Nestle milk chocolates thankfully all are palm oil free. However, their fillings such as peanut butter or caramel are NOT. That being said, with the multitude of candy options available on our supermarket shelves, it can be very difficult in navigating the aisles for “safe” options. Yet, the rainforest’s flora and fauna need our help. It is up to us as the consumers to tell candy manufacturers to rid palm oil from their sweets. We can use our voices and our wallets to cast our vote and I encourage anyone who cares about the state of Indomalay forests to join me and fellow palm oil free consumers on this venture.