As a quick, easy and cheap meal option for those on a budget, instant ramen has become a staple in college dorms and first apartments everywhere. It’s even eaten for breakfast in Hong Kong.
Now the high-sodium noodles are being called the “main culprit” behind deforestation and the displacement of orangutans due to their high palm-oil content, according to Salon. Rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia are often cleared for palm-oil plantations. Nissin and Maruchan, makers of Top Ramen and Cup of Noodles, are said to be the biggest offenders.
Kaytee Riek, the campaigns director of SumOfUs, a nonprofit consumer-advocacy group, tells Salon that the noodles are “mostly a threat to our planet” and that 20 percent of what makes up the ramen is palm oil.
Nutella faced the same charges earlier this summer when France’s ecology minister, Ségolène Royal, called for a boycott of the chocolate hazelnut spread due to its use of palm oil as an ingredient, according to Quartz. Environmental advocacy group Greenpeace, however, told Quartz that the boycott “will not solve problems in its production.”