No palm oil puds, please

DZG’s Sumatran tigers and Bornean orang utans are helping serve up a festive message for change by saying no to palm oil in Christmas puds in a bid to save their wild cousins from extinction.

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Palm oil is one of the most widely used ingredients in the world, its production driven by consumer demand for a broad range of products, including foodstuffs, cosmetics, cleaning materials, and fuel. However, production has serious negative environmental and social impacts, and millions of hectares of tropical rainforest have been destroyed in recent years – most notably in Malaysia and Indonesia, and more recently in West Africa – to make way for oil palm plantations.  

At DZG we’re proud that no products served by our catering partner, Amadeus, in the Oak Kitchen in the Queen Mary or sold in the Safari Shop contains non-sustainable palm oil.

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Presenter Pam Midwood, said: “Habitat destruction for palm oil plantations is pushing many animals to the brink of extinction.

“The rainforest is being cut down at an alarming rate – the size of 300 football pitches every hour – to make way for product plantations, which is affecting many animals that rely on the rainforest habitat for survival, such as Sumatran tigers, Bornean and Sumatran orang utans and Sulawesi crested macaques, just some of the species found here at DZG leaving them with no homes and a very fragmented habitat.”

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Statistics suggest that Sumatran tigers could become extinct in the wild within just three years, and Sumatran orang utans and their Bornean counterparts, like the four we have at DZG, are facing the same fate within the next decade.

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Pam added: “We’re encouraging everyone to only use sustainably sourced palm oil products, especially this Christmas, to help ensure the long-term survival of the rainforest’s unique wildlife.”

New labelling laws introduced this month mean all food products must state the source of any oil or fat ingredient including palm oil, which will make it clearer for shoppers to make a choice on their purchase. 

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Pam said:  “When doing your seasonal shopping make sure you read the labels and look out for the RSPO Trademark or Rainforest Alliance logo, which means the product’s ingredients will have been responsibly sourced.

“This way you’ll be helping save the lives of many animals across the world like our alpha male orang, Jorong, and Sumatran tigers, Daseep and Joao, who enjoyed their palm oil-free and animal-friendly papier mache Christmas puddings, filled with their favourite treats.”

To help shoppers, BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) has put together a top five list of the most sustainable Christmas puddings. They do all contain palm oil; however these supermarkets are leading the way in terms of sustainability. 

BIAZA’s top five Christmas puddings…

  1. The Co-operative Truly Irresistible
  2. Heston from Waitrose Hidden Clementine
  3. Duchy Originals Organic from Waitrose
  4. Waitrose Richly Fruited Christmas pudding 
  5. M&S Cranberry