Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on The Conversation.
It may come as no surprise that fats and oils are part of any piece of chocolate we eat. But the push to cut trans fats from food for health reasons has created demand for palm oil, an ingredient with significant environmental impacts.
The rapid expansion of palm oil production for food and biofuels in the past 25 years in Indonesia and Malaysia has been blamed for loss of biodiversity and land-use changes that increase carbon emissions. About 80% of palm oil production goes into food, according to a web site sponsored by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.
Palm oil is used in many candies with chocolate, although a number of confectionery producers do not use it or have started to use certified sustainable palm oil. The El Paso Zoo is just one of the organizations that lists candy products with palm oil, including goodies for a palm oil-free Easter basket filler. Continue reading Focus on research: Does your Easter chocolate have palm oil in it?