Make Girl Scout cookies safe for endangered orangutans

[UPDATE: Hope for Orangutans: Kellogg’s committing to sustainable palm oil]

For a while, Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies were my very favorite cookie. I still need to figure out how to make my own with as close as a delicious taste as possible. There will be one ingredient that I will definitely not be using and that’s palm oil. Within the past few years, the production and distribution of palm oil has grown immensely. This drastic growth in demand has created huge damage to rainforests, people, orangutans and other animals such as tigers which live in these forests. According to the WSPA, “[o]rangutan habitats are being destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations, leaving roughly 5,000 orangutans dead each year… In the last 10 years, 90 percent of the rainforest in Borneo and Sumatra has been destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations, and orangutans are now one of the ten most threatened species in the world. There are only 35,000 orangutans left in Borneo and a mere 7,000 remain in Sumatra. At the current rate of loss, it is possible that they will be extinct in ten years.”

Four years ago, when they were only 11 years old, Girl Scouts Madison Vorva and Rhiannon Tomtishen became dedicated to helping endangered orangutans and were shocked to discover that the very cookies they were selling were filled with unsustainable palm oil. Ever since, they’ve been working on raising awareness and trying to get Girl Scouts USA to stop using unsustainable palm oil in their cookies. They’ve convinced food corporation Kelloggs, “which owns one of the bakers of Girl Scout cookies, to announce that it will both move toward using sustainably-produced palm oil and donate to rainforest preservation efforts to mitigate the environmental damage caused by palm oil currently used in the Girl Scout cookies made in its factories.” [Source: Care2] But they’ve not heard from Girl Scout officials since 2008 when they last (and first) met with them.

This year will mark Girl Scouts USA’s 100th anniversary and what better way to celebrate then by the organization showing they care about young girls taking action and making a change for the better? After all, is that not what Girl Scouts is all about? You can help Rhiannon and Madison by signing this letter here from Rainforest Action Network (RAN) who they’ve teamed up with to finally get to their goal. You may also sign a petition here on the same matter from Care2. Thank you and I hope we hear about Girl Scout cookies becoming sustainable and rainforest-safe soon!

(Original images from: Care2 & Perth Zoo)


Misty :)
26 April 2011 - 10:35 pm

Wow! This is so sad! I signed both petitions! I had no idea this was happening! That is so awesome to hear that Madison and Rhiannon are trying to put a stop to this! When I was 11 years old, I probably wouldn’t have cared to be honest! That is really awesome they got Kellogs to stop using the unsustainable palm oil! I just hope they can reach there goal! That will be so awesome!

Brandi {not your average ordinary}
27 April 2011 - 3:19 am

I had no idea there was such a problem with Girl Scout Cookies! How horrible! I do hope they change their ways.
The good news for you is that I have a thin mint recipe:
The only thing you need to substitute that’s non-vegan is the butter!

27 April 2011 - 12:27 pm

awww, i have a special place in my heart for the monkey family after my run for them!

27 April 2011 - 8:01 pm

wow, i had no idea palm oil was so destructive! thank you so much for sharing! and bravo to those two little girls who have taken on this issue – it restores my faith in this crazy world 🙂

27 April 2011 - 10:40 pm

Oh wow. Who would have thought? {those are my fav cookies too}. So good to know this.

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15 February 2014 - 4:55 pm

[…] three years ago, I wrote about two Girl Scouts challenging Kellogg’s to drop palm oil from their Thin Mint Girl Scout […]

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