Letters to the Editor

Finn letter: Rainforest destruction

I applaud the Statesman for publishing the article by Scott Berson of March 30 describing Easter candy’s impact on the environment. Though Mr. Berson painted a broad brush by describing the outcomes of research, he only touched the surface of the environmental impacts of an insidious product found in 50 percent of products sold in the grocery store. Palm oil, also known as palmitate, palm kernel oil, and sodium laureth sulfate, is causing massive destruction to rainforests in Southeast Asia and around the world.

When palm oil demand increases, palm oil producers in Indonesia and Malaysia purposefully destroy nearby rainforest to make room for more oil palm plantations releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Millions of acres are destroyed, thousands of animals are displaced and killed, and those areas’ ability to absorb greenhouse gas is significantly reduced. Of particular interest is the plight of the critically endangered orangutan, a species which is very closely related to humans and shows clear signs of sentience, commonly using tools and even learning sign language.

But sustainable alternatives are available. The other 50 percent of products at the market do not contain palm oil. So, you can save rainforest by checking ingredients and buying sustainably.

Gigi Finn, Boise