October is a month where Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy according to a Nielsen Newswire Report – with the majority of that being the week leading directly up to Halloween. 90 million pounds of that candy is chocolate, to put that into perspective compared to other holidays: 65 million is sold during Easter, and 48 million pounds of chocolate candy is sold for Valentine’s day.
With all of that chocolate candy being consumed, it makes sense that according to USA Today, Reese’s are the most popular Halloween candy based on sales, followed by M&Ms, Snickers, Hershey’s, and Kit Kats.
But what do all of these seemingly random and useless facts have to do with tigers? Palm oil. As we covered back in June, palm oil is one of the leading factors that is hurting tiger populations in the wild. Due to the land that is being used to harvest palm oil, tigers are losing habitat that not only creates less space for them to occupy, but makes it increasingly more difficult for tigers to travel to each other for breeding purposes which continues to hurt the tiger population numbers. Palm oil is in many candies, including those that are purchased for Halloween. If we can all make better decisions about the candy we purchase, we can make a huge impact for tigers in the wild. It has been found that the average U. S. household purchases around $44 worth of Halloween candy each year, so let’s have that money make a difference.
By utilizing the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo palm oil app and their yearly Halloween flyer when purchasing candy, we can ensure that we are supporting environmentally friendly companies that are doing their best to reduce their footprint in the palm oil industry.
But if you want to make an even bigger difference, choose companies and products that don’t contain palm oil at all. You don’t have to hand out toothbrushes to your trick-or-treaters to stay away from this all too common ingredient. One of my favorite indulgences during this season is candy corn, and I’m not the only one. According to the National Confectioners Association, 35 million pounds of candy corn are produced each year, that’s equal to 9 billion pieces! But one of the most famous brands of candy corn, Brach’s, is owned by Ferrara Candy Company, a member of the RSPO. Their candy corn specifically does not have palm oil, or it’s affiliated names, as an ingredient and can be a guilt-free indulgence for the environment, even if it’s not for your waistline.
So, for this Halloween, enjoy yourself and your friends and family. Dress up, maybe even choosing a tiger to be your costume of choice. But when choosing your candy of choice, make a tiger-approved choice and be palm oil conscious.