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Friday, 22 April 2016

My Trip To Sumatra

My trip to Sumatra

I would like to thank the Go Beyond Haze Organisation for taking me on a magnificent 3 day trip to Bukit Lawang, in  Sumatra Indonesia.

From the Medan airport we hopped into a van and started our longer 4hr journey on the bumpy, muddy and blocked roads of Indonesia. As we headed towards the Ecolodge Hotel, I saw palm oil plantations covering massive acres of land. Cranes were picking logs and clearing forests.  Suddenly I was hit by the smell of smoke entering the car.   It gave me the chills, as I imagined the amount of forests that have been wiped out and the habitat lost, in order to cater to our demand for palm oil in products. 

Half way through the car ride from the airport, we stopped at the SOCP (Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme) Orangutan Haven. Two Project Members, who come from different parts of the world, from across the world guided us into  the forests, and talked about their love 
of this cause. They explained that the SOCP aims to rescue illegally captured Orangutans, monitor the remaining wildlife population, conservate the Orangutans, research the ecology of Orangutans, and most importantly, spreads awareness. We went on a small hike through the community trails,  walked in rivers to look at the 48 hectares of land provided for the abused Orangutans. Currently there arn’t any Orangutans in this Centre as it is under construction,  however in a couple of year’s time I plan on going back to see this finished Haven.

On the Second Day, the Bukit Lawing National Park Rangers took us on a fascinating trek in the National Park. We walked on the leaf carpeted pathway towards the almond brown Forest.  In the jungle I held onto moss infested trees to climb up the big rocks. Walking silently and hearing the leaves crackle underneath us. We recognised the rich indigenous biodiversity, and identified the various luminous petals. We learnt about the local community in Sumatra Indonesia and how some of these plants are used un herbal remedy. As we climbed upwards through the moist forest, we  suddenly saw a mother Orangutan holding her baby closely. While the Mother was plucking leaves, the baby Orangutan rolled around in the mud before swinging into the dense trees.   I took a burst of photos on my Canon camera, trying to get closer to examine these beautiful creatures I hadn't seen in the wild before. This was truly jaw dropping to see these flocculent orange haired endangered animals. During that point of time, I thought to myself that it was our responsibility to help save their habitats and give them what they deserve.
After a delicious lunch in the river, we went to a Bat Cave, where we climbed around rocks. We squeezed our way through the tight gaps and heard the bats squeal around us, and then broke out to the sunlight and walked underneath waterfalls. From there we walked back to our hotels, packed up our bags, ready for the lengthy car ride back to the airport. 

 Overall, this was a once in a life time experience. Before going to Sumatra, the only way I could understand about palm Oil and rainforests was to read articles online and on newspapers. However, now I have a much deeper and better understanding. This hands on adventure has made myself much more passionate about my project. My trip to Sumatra has sparked more ideas, and will invigorate me to help spread my message to everyone. I now have a better insight to this problem and hence, I need your support to help end SouthEast Asia’s most pressing and environmental issue! Join the Campaign, by Signing the Pledge to use Sustainable Palm Oil Products! 

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Gauri Shukla UWCSEA 13yr old Go Beyond Haze Competition

Regular Newsfeed

I decided to look into the Sodexo Canteens further investigating if any unsustainable palm oil products were sold on campus. I found out that a popular snack sold in the canteens were Two-Bite Brownies. After contacting the manufacturers, I found out that the Give&Go Manufacturers based in Canada, contained palm oil from unsustainable sources.

I lobbied the manufacturer and with assistance from Sodexo, we received an assurance from Give&Go that they will shift to using certified sustainably-produced palm oil in all their products from February 2016!

- Edunia Magazine

Check out the Edunia(  and Hardcopy UWCSEA EDunia magazine, and read my article regarding my campaign!

- The Go Beyond Haze Competition

Beyond the Haze awareness organisation had launched a competition where students can explore what goes on beyond the haze?, and what can we do beyond the haze. I won first prize for the 13-18 age group and will be awarded with a 3 day trip to Sumatra Indonesia!! I will be going from the 15-18 of April.

I will upload pictures after I return from the trip!

Here are the contest details:

I made a short film/movie about the haze and here is my competition entry.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Products to use and avoid

Finalised Ethical Food Sources List           

Made By: Gauri, Rhea, Sid, Elenna, Erynn, Cecilia

Chips/Crisps To Use 
Chips/Crisps NOT To Use   
Lays Classic Chips (only this flavour)
(apart from Classic flavour) 
Doritos Nacho Cheese (only this flavour)
(apart from the Nacho Cheese flavour)
Kettle Chips
Marks & Spencers Snacks
Jack and Jill
Hula Hoop

Biscuits To Use 
Biscuits NOT To Use   
Famous Amos Cookie
Waitrose: All Butter Cookies, Milk Chocolate & Chocolate Chip Cookies, Scottish Shortbread, Belgian dark chocolate thins, Viennese swirls & fingers, Seriously shortbread, Seriously chocolate and ginger biscuits, Seriously triple chocolate, Continental milk chocolate butter biscuits, Continental dark chocolate butter biscuit
FOX Cookies
Waitrose Duchy Organic (all organic):  all biscuit

Kellogg Product

Arnott’s Biscuit Products (Tim Tams, Shapes)

Lotus Biscuits (Speculoos)

Walkers : Shortbread, All Butter Sultana Biscuits, Chocolate Chip

Marks and Spencers: Waitrose Duchy Organic (all organic) (all biscuits

Chocolate To Use  
Chocolate NOT To Use  
Cadbury’s (some products contain palm oil but sustainable)
Skippy Peanut Butte
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Ferrero Rocher


Mars Bar


Ready-made Mixes To Use  
Ready-made mixes NOT To Use    
Aunt Jemima Self-Rising White Corn Meal Mix
Aunt Jemima Yellow Corn Meal
Betty Crocker Gingerbread Cake & Cookie Mix
Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix
Betty Crocker Pie Crust Mix
Betty Crocker Supreme Bars Cookie Brownie Mix
Betty Crocker Triple Chunk Premium Brownie Mix with Hershey's
Bisquick Buttermilk Pancake shake
Bisquick Heart Smart Pancake and Baking Mix
Bisquick Pancake Mix
Duncan Hines: Family-Style Brownie Chewy Fudge Mix
Hungry Jack Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
Jiffy all purpose baking mix
Krusteaz supreme mix lemon bars
Krusteaz Supreme Mix Pecan Bars
Libby’s Pumpkin 100% pure
Martha White Self-Rising Buttermilk Corn Meal Mix
Martha White Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix

Banquet Homestyle Bakes Dumplings & Chicken
Betty Crocker Fiber One Premium Blueberry Muffin Mix
Betty Crocker Original Supreme Premium Brownie Mix with Hershey's
Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Premium Brownie Mix with Hershey's
Betty Crocker Sunkist Lemon-Poppy Seed Premium Muffin & Quick Bread Mix
Betty Crocker warm delights molten choc minis cake mix
Betty Crocker White Angel Food Cake Mix
Dream Whip Topping Mix
Duncan Hines Apple Caramel Cake Mix
Duncan Hines Decadent Red Velvet Cupcake Cake & Frosting Mix
Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Carrot Cake Cake Mix
Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate Cake Mix
Fleischmann's Simply Homemade Multi-Grain No Knead Bread Mix
Hungry Jack Extra Light & Fluffy Pancake & Waffle Mix
Jell-O No Bake Lemon Meringue Pie Dessert Mix
Jell-O Oreo no bake dessert mix
Krusteaz Muffin mix Fat Free Cranberry Orange
Krusteaz: Pancake Mix Buttermilk Complete
Pillsbury Funfetti Brownie Pop Kit
Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Pop Kit
Pillsbury Red Velvet Cake Mix
Pillsbury Supreme Collection Fudge Premium Truffle Cake Mix

Candy to Use 
Candy to NOT Use  
Weather's Original Airheads Assorted Mini Bars
Bobs Sweet stripes candy
Brach's Starbrite peppermint candy
Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai with Blueberry Candy
Brookside Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Candy
Campfire Giant Roasters Marshmallows
Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares Milk & Caramel Chocolate
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie
Green & Black's: Dark 85% Cocoa Content Organic Chocolate
Hershey's Kisses Chocolate
Hershey's Nuggets, Assortment Bag
Hershey's: Nuggets Special W/Almonds Dark Chocolate
Jolly Ranchers Hard Candy
M&M'S Minis Milk Chocolate Chocolate Candies
Nerds: Wonka Grape & Strawberry Candy
Smarties Candy Rolls
Sour Patch soft and chewy candy
Almond Joy: Coconut & Almonds Chocolate
Ice Breakers Cool Mint
Payday: Peanut Caramel Bar
Reese's: Cups Peanut Butter White Miniatures Chocolate
Rolo: Chewy Caramels Milk Chocolate
Twix: Caramel Cookie Bars Chocolate
Twizzlers all

Cereal to use 
Cereal to NOT use  
Rachael Ray Oat-Tastically Good Maple Drizzle Instant Hot CerealCap'n Crunch Oops! All Berries
Cascadian Farm Organic Fruit and Nut Granola
Cheerios toasted whole grain
Cream Of Wheat Enriched Farina 2-1/2 Minute
Cream Of Wheat Instant Cinnabon Hot Cereal
Cream Of Wheat: Whole Grain Hot Cereal
Fiber One Caramel Delight
Great Value Quick Oats
Great Value: Oven-Toasted Old Fashioned Oats
Kashi GoLean Cereal
Kashi GoLean Crunch!
Kashi GoLean Crunch! Honey Almond Flax Cereal
Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oat Cereal
Kashi Heart To Heart Oat Flakes and Wild Blueberry Clusters
Kellogg’s Fruit Loops
Post Grape-Nuts Cereal
Post Shredded Wheat Honey Nut
Post Shredded Wheat Wheat'n Bran
Quaker Instant Grits original
Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
Quaker Steel Cut Oatmeal
Rachael Ray Oat-Tastically Good Maple Drizzle Instant Hot Cereal
Basic 4 Cereal
Bear Naked All Natural Granola
Chex Cinnamon
Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Snack Mix
Chocolate Cheerios
Chocolate Chex Cereal
Chocolate Lucky Charms
Cocoa Puffs
Emerald Breakfast on the Go! Apples & Cinnamon Oatmeal Nut Blend Nut & Oatmeal Mix
Fruity Cheerios
Golden Grahams Cereal
Great Value Fruit & Cream Variety Pack Instant Oatmeal
Great Value Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal
Great Value Raisin bran
Great Value Sugar Frosted Flakes
Honey bunches of oats honey roasted
Honey bunches of oats with Almonds
Honey Nut Cheerios
Kellogg's Apple Jacks
Kellogg's Corn Flakes
Kellogg's Corn Pops
Kellogg's Cracklin' Oat Bran
Kellogg's Crispix
Kellogg's Honey Smacks
Kellogg's Krave Double Chocolate
Kellogg's Original Special K
Kellogg's Rice Krispies
Kellogg's: Frosted Mini-Wheats Bite Size Cereal
Kellogg's: Raisin Bran Crunch Cereal
Lucky Charms
Malt O Meal frosted flakes
Malt-O-Meal Berry Colossal Crunch
Malt-O-Meal Cereal Honey Nut Scooters
Malt-O-Meal Coco Dyno-Bites
Malt-O-Meal Tootie Fruities
Malt-O-Meal: Cereal Crispy Rice
Malt-O-Meal: Cereal Marshmallow Mateys
Malt-O-Meal: Cinnamon Toasters Sweetened Whole Wheat And Rice Cereal w/Cinnamon
Oh's Honey Graham
Post Fruity Pebbles
Post Grape-Nuts Original
Post Great Grains Cranberry Almond Crunch
Post Honey Bunches of oats Just Bunches
Post Raisin Bran
Post Selects Banana Nut Crunch
Post Selects Great Grains Crunchy Pecans
Post Selects Great Grains Raisins Dates & Pecans
Quaker Fruit & Cream Instant Oatmeal Variety Value Pack
Quaker Original Instant Oatmeal
Quaker: Instant Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar
Total Whole Grain Cereal
Wheaties Cereal

Peanut Butter to use 
Peanut Butter to NOT use  
Woodstock Farms Peanut Butter
Adams Peanut Butter Creamy
Adom Foods Peanut Butter
Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butter
Arrowhead Mills Peanut Butter
Bama Spreads Peanut Butter Creamy
Bama Spreads Peanut Butter Crunchy
Fisher Peanut Butter (all)
Holsum Peanut Butter
Houchens Peanut Butter
Jif Peanut Butter Creamy, With Honey
Kettle Peanut Butter Organic, Creamy, Unsalted
Kettle Peanut Butter Organic, Crunchy, Unsalted
Master Choice Peanut Butter
Olde Tyme Peanut Butter Honey Roasted
Parkers Peanut Butter Honey, Crunchy
Peanut Better
Peanut Better Course Ground Peanut Butter Chunky, Thai Ginger & Red Pepper
Real Peanut Butter
Santa Cruz Peanut Butter creamy
Skippy Peanut Butter
Sunland Peanut Butter
Sunland Peanut Butter Valencia, Natural, Crunchy
Teddie Peanut Butter Smooth
Woodstock Farms Peanut Butter
Barney Butter (all)
Better'n Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Spread
Ian's Peanut Butter Crunchy
Justin's Peanut Butter Organic, Classic
MaraNatha Peanut Butter No Stir, Creamy
Natural Directions Peanut Butter
Once Again Peanut Butter Creamy
Pb Crave Peanut Butter (all)
Peanut Butter & Co. (all varieties)
Peanut Wonder Peanut Butter
Peter Pan Peanut Butter Whipped, Creamy
Smart Balance Peanut Butter Natural, Chunky
Smart Balance Peanut Butter Natural, Creamy
Sunland Peanut Butter creamy 

Coffee Mixes to use 
Coffee Mixes to NOT use  
Barnie's CoffeeKitchen Pronto! Creme Brulee Liquid Coffee brewsticks
Maxwell House International Cafe French Vanilla Iced Latte
Nescafe Cafe Con Leche Coffee with Milk Flavored Coffee Mix
Starbucks Coffee + Milk Low Calorie Iced Coffee
Starbucks double shot espresso & cream coffee drink
Starbucks Frappuccino Vanilla Light Coffee Drink

Folgers French Vanilla Cappuccino Coffee Mix
Great Value French Vanilla Cappuccino
Hills Bros: French Vanilla Sugar Free Cappuccino Drink
Maxwell House International Latte Suisse Mocha Beverage Mix
Nescafe Memento Mocha Specialty Coffee Beverage
Organo Gold (all)

Courtesy to: Palm Oil Investigators USA and other sources. (Bibliography down below)

Disguises for Palm Oil:
Vegetable Oil (But this is a generic term, it could also not be palm oil, although this is possible), Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearin, Palmitoyl Oxo Stearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hydrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol

Works Cited List: