Big news for doughnut lovers who care about the environment: Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme have pledged to purchase sustainable palm oil from zero-deforestation sources by the end of 2016. Don’t go running to your local doughnut shop just yet though.
DD and KK do deserve a little round of applause—think the cheerful, reserved clapping you might find in the Queen of England’s parlor (instead of say, fans at a KISS concert). Sustainable palm oil is a necessity if we want to maintain the Indonesian forests and those totes-adors orangutans that call the forest home. Sourcing ethically is really just about the only choice any brand relying on palm oil has. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme aren’t doing this because they’re swell corporate citizens with hearts of gold, they’re doing it because it’s just becoming too egregious not to. Sooner or later, they’d both face petitions, protests and campaigns calling them orangutan killers. Which they would be.
“Some 60 percent of palm oil is now produced responsibly,” reports Grist. “We are close to the tipping point where palm oil will stop being a synonym for ‘evil’ and become an exemplar of a well-managed commodity.”
In other words, sooner or later, the doughnut brands would have had to make the shift. They chose sooner.
But no, this doesn’t mean there’s any single good reason for supporting Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme just yet. Why not? How about loads of processed GMO sugar, HFCS and soybean oil, refined flour, dairy products sourced from factory farm cows fed GMOs and antibiotics, artificial colors and flavors…just look at the ingredients for Dunkin’ Donuts’ ‘Boston Scream Donut’:
Donut: Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron as Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamin Mononitrate, Enzyme, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Water, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Whey (a milk derivative), Skim Milk, Yeast, Contains less than 2% of the following: Salt, Leavening (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda), Defatted Soy Flour, Wheat Starch, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Artificial Flavor, Sodium Caseinate (a milk derivative), Enzyme, Colored with (Turmeric and Annatto Extracts, Beta Carotene), Eggs; Bavarian Kreme Filling: Water, Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Corn Syrup, Palm Oil, Contains 2% or less of the following: Natural and Artificial Flavors, Glucono Delta Lactone, Salt, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate (Preservatives), Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Agar; Chocolate Icing: Sugar, Water, Cocoa, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup, Maltodextrin, Contains 2% or less of: Dextrose, Corn Starch, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Salt, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Propionate (Preservatives), Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier), Agar, Artificial Flavor; Orange Icing: [White Icing: Sugar, Water, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Contains 2% or less: Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Soybean Oil, Corn Starch, Artificial Flavor, Salt, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Sodium Propionate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Citric Acid, Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids, Agar, Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier); Orange Coloring: Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Glycerin, Modified Food Starch, Sugar, Carrageenan Gum, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid; May Contain FD&C Blue 1, FD&C Blue 2, FD&C Red 3, FD&C Red 40, FD&C Yellow 6, FD&C Yellow 5].
Sustainable palm oil is a drop in the big, sugary, artificial bucket of changes that need to happen to make doughnuts ever a healthy food choice. If you really want a round, sweet treat with a hole in the center, core an organic, Fair Trade pineapple.
Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
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