Hey Trader Joe’s, palm oil is not sweet!

My husband, thoughtful man that he is, brought home some Trader Joe’s specials for me for Valentine’s Day. I habitually check ingredients, so I snuck a look at the ingredient labels on the “For the Love of Chocolate Mousse Cake” and “Mini Sugar Hearts” cookies. To my great disappointment, palm oil was listed multiple times in the cake as part of the confectioner’s coatings and as a standalone ingredient, and it was listed before cocoa powder and eggs, meaning it was a major ingredient in this cake. Palm oil was the second ingredient in the cookies, after wheat flour and before sugar.

Trader Joe's mini sugar hearts cookies

There is absolutely nothing sweet about palm oil. Consuming it makes us complicit in massive deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. Despite growing awareness about the problems with palm oil, it’s estimated that about half of all packaged products in the supermarket contain palm oil or palm derivatives. Take a quick look at the ingredients in pizza dough, cookies, crackers, peanut butter, nutella, ice cream, detergents, cosmetics, soap, or any random product on the shelves, and say NO to any product that contains palm oil! Let’s go further and put pressure on companies that use and sell palm oil. You can provide feedback to Trader Joe’s at this link. Feel free to use the paragraph below, or personalize it as you see fit (the links are for your interest – they will not show up in the feedback form you send Trader Joe’s):

Dear Trader Joe’s Crew,

I am a big fan of your stores, where I shop regularly. Although you sell many excellent products, I am very disappointed that some of your products are made with palm oil. Palm oil production is widely known to be one of the biggest causes of deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. Some major American consumer companies have made a commitment to purchase exclusively deforestation-free and peat-free palm oil. Trader Joe’s, would you please commit to rejecting all products made with palm oil, unless that palm oil is certified to be produced responsibly, which means that the oil can be traced and verified not to originate in deforestation? Global initiatives such as the Palm Oil Innovation Group are working to promote responsible palm oil production. I read ingredient labels when I shop. I will not purchase any of your products that contain palm oil, and I’m encouraging everyone I know to do the same. Please use your power and influence for the good of the planet and climate: please stop participating in the horrific destruction of tropical forests and communities by selling products made with unsustainable palm oil. Consumers are watching. We request you to be proactive on this issue, in keeping with your image as a store that cares about people and the planet. Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

1 Comment

  • Ed Posted February 22, 2017 6:58 pm

    Hey sweet Annie,
    Thanks for catching me on this palm oil oversight! I will never let it happen again, I promise. 🙂 And thanks for making it so easy for your readers to get in action around giving feedback to TJ’s.

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