Zookeeper says some Halloween candy could be hurting orangutans

By  | 

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It's not something that many of us think about when we're grocery shopping, but one ingredient in things like our cosmetics and candy could be a source of harm for orangutans.

Koral Stoddard, a keeper in Primate Forest at the Toledo Zoo, said, "Palm oil is found in about 50 percent of everything that you use, so if you wash your face, or you're eating a snack, you're brushing your teeth, you're using palm oil."

Stoddard said that the biggest threat is habitat loss, as palm oil companies have to clear forests to plant palm trees.

She said that some companies only use their plantations for one season and move on to clear more forests, destroying the habitats. She said sustainable companies use the same land season after season, reducing their impact on local animals.

She said, "What we're really trying to do is sustainable resources of this palm oil, and use corporations that are proving that they are using sustainable resources of palm oil."

Halloween candy is a popular product right now that uses palm oil.

"Right now, Halloween time is a big time with all of the candy that we're buying. There are a lot of companies that have gone along this program and are now sustainable," she said.

She said the Toledo Zoo is making it easy for you to make sure you're using products from companies that strive to use sustainable sources for palm oil.

You can find a list of companies who are orangutan-friendly on the zoo's website.

Read the original version of this article at 13abc.com.