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The Green Life: Hamburger Helping the Rainforest

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September 23, 2010

Hamburger Helping the Rainforest

Forget Cinnamon Toast Crunch; palm oil really is "the taste you can see." Found in 50 percent of all consumer goods bought and sold in the US, the cultivation of palm oil is one of the leading causes of global rainforest destruction. Just ask the orangutan from the film Green.

Palm oil Thankfully, General Mills, the company famous for American-as-apple-pie brands like Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, has committed itself to getting 100 percent of its palm oil from environmentally responsible sources by 2015. That means soon you can eat your Cheerios and have the rainforest, too.

Environmental groups like Rainforest Action Network had been dogging General Mills for years regarding its purchases of palm oil, which comes mainly from palm trees in Southeast Asia, from unsustainable sources. The pressure seems to have worked, and now General Mills is leading the way for a new trend in American corporations; namely, a move away from controversial palm oil sources and towards environmental responsibility.

To learn more about the palm oil industry, including its correlation to heart disease, take a look at these CSPI findings.

--Ronny Smith

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