There is a growing concern amongst Girl Scouts about the use of palm oil in Girl Scout cookies. In 2007 two scouts from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen, began a campaign to raise awareness about palm oil. While researching a project for Girl Scouts, the two learned that palm oil plantations are destroying the habitat of orangutans in Indonesia. Shocked by this discovery they began checking all of the items in their pantries for palm oil and discovered it was a main ingredient in Girl Scout cookies. They remain actively involved with Girl Scouts but made a choice not continue selling Girl Scout cookies.
In 2011 their activism led to a meeting with Girl Scout executives and in 2012 the organization pledged their support for sustainable palm oil. Today you can find a “green palm” certificate on each box of Girl Scout cookies thanks to Madison and Rhiannon. While some cynics call the certificate an example of greenwashing, the two girls say it is a step in the right direction.You can find out more about their campaign, Project Orangs, here.
Tune into Good food tomorrow to hear Rhiannon and Madison’s story and watch their TedX talk below.