Action: Keep Conflict Palm-Oil Out of Instant Noodles

Long before this publication, when The Callitrichidame project was still around, I was on the look-out for a conflict-free alternative to ramen noodles. I found that Lotus Foods dehydrated their noodles instead of deep-frying them, bypassing palm-oil entirely in the process. While I may have solved my own personal craving for my go-to college snack, this still doesn't mean much for the two leading instant noodle companies in the market, Nissin and Maruchan, which are still carrying on with their conflict palm-oil consuming ways. 

This week, the Rainforest Action Network has initiated its call to action against these two corporations and have deemed them 'laggards' for not cutting ties to common practices we denounce, such as human rights violations, peat land destruction, and the clearing of pristine forest. This is a perfect opportunity for us all to band together and make some significant noise, hopefully getting the attention of these two popular brands.

Image Credit: Rainforest Action Network

Image Credit: Rainforest Action Network

The Issue

The main problem is that instant ramen noodles can often be deep fried in conflict palm-oil. These two companies are not exempt from this practice and do control quite a bit of the American 'instant noodle' market - Maruchan selling 67% of its product to the U.S. It's likely that if you've ever had a cup or a bowl of instant noodles, it has been a Maruchan or Nissin product. See the items below for reference, some of which are nearly a quarter palm-oil by weight.

The following are just some of the areas in which RAN claim Nissin Foods is failing:

No additional requirements for suppliers to end destruction of rainforests, peatlands and abuse of human and labor rights. 
No assertive deadline for eliminating Conflict Palm Oil from global operations by the end of 2015. 
No requirement for palm oil to be traceable to the plantation level. 
No requirement for independent verification of supplier compliance with responsible palm oil production practices, including no destruction of rainforests, peatlands or abuse of human and labor rights. 
No commitment or procedures to eliminate Conflict Palm Oil suppliers

Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., the owners of Maruchan, seem to be even worse, as they have no palm-oil commitment whatsoever in place. RAN asserts that they are selling products that are at 'extreme risk of contamination with conflict palm-oil', deriving from possibly 'high risk' regions.

What can you do? 

You can tell the Snackfood 20 that you don't appreciate their lack of commitment in an e-mail via the Rainforest Action Network.

You can also establish a call group, amongst classmates or friends, from now until the July 22nd and place collective pressure via phone calls. 

Last but certainly not least, you can tell a friend. Send out a tweet and spread the good word.