When you eat, who profits?

I just checked out this website talking about the structure of the various businesses that might be collectively called the organic food industry (http://www.msu.edu/%7Ehowardp/organicindustry.html).  Here’s what I think.
A lot of us natural food people can agree with the idea that your vote with your dollars.  I, for one, don’t want to buy a 12 pack of cola not only because of it’s terribly health effects, but also because I think it is fundamentally wrong for the company to be profiting off of junk food.  It’s criminal.
So by being educated about who is making your supposedly healthy foods, you can use your dollars more effectively and fund the people doing the right things.
Kraft foods owns Boca burgers.  Nestle owns Tribe.  Pepsi owns Naked Juice.  Coke owns Odwalla.  Kellogg owns Kashi.  Heinz owns Celestial Seasonings teas, Rice Dream, Soy Dream, Spectrum organics.  Danon owns Stonyfield Farms.  The list goes on and on.
Though it may be unfair to be suspicious of multinational corporations just because they are multinatural corporations, let us not forget the history of how these same companies brought us into the disastrous world of processed foods we currently live in.  Can we really trust these brands to pull us out?
Personally, I eat a very limited number of processed foods.  Aside from the occasional jar of organic peanut butter or cheese, everything I eat comes as a whole food.  This is ideal, but not easy for everyone to achieve.
So for those who looking for a better alternative, here are some major independent organic food companies that cannot be associated with the rise of unhealthy processed foods.  Clif Bar (and Luna), Organic Valley, Eden Foods, Applegate Farms, Pacific Natural Foods, Newman’s Own Organics, Golden Temple (Peace Cereal, Yogi Tea), and others.  Some of the companies are even cooperatives, including Frontier Natural Products (Simply Organic), Alvarado Street Bakery, Equal Exchange, and Organic Valley.
In lieu of the fact that more and more organic labels are going to hit the store shelves every year, I think we need to be especially conscious of whether these apparently healthy foods are really serving our interest or someone else’s.  With this information, you can get a better idea of who is on your side in the grocery store.

I just checked out this website talking about the structure of the various businesses that might be collectively called the organic food industry (http://www.msu.edu/%7Ehowardp/organicindustry.html).  Here’s what I think.

A lot of us natural food people can agree with the idea that your vote with your dollars.  I, for one, don’t want to buy a 12 pack of cola not only because of it’s terribly health effects, but also because I think it is fundamentally wrong for the company to be profiting off of junk food.  It’s criminal.

So by being educated about who is making your supposedly healthy foods, you can use your dollars more effectively and fund the people doing the right things.

Kraft foods owns Boca burgers.  Nestle owns Tribe.  Pepsi owns Naked Juice.  Coke owns Odwalla.  Kellogg owns Kashi.  Heinz owns Celestial Seasonings teas, Rice Dream, Soy Dream, Spectrum organics.  Danon owns Stonyfield Farms.  The list goes on and on.

Though it may be unfair to be suspicious of multinational corporations just because they are multinatural corporations, let us not forget the history of how these same companies brought us into the disastrous world of processed foods we currently live in.  Can we really trust these brands to pull us out?

Personally, I eat a very limited number of processed foods.  Aside from the occasional jar of organic peanut butter or cheese, everything I eat comes as a whole food.  This is ideal, but not easy for everyone to achieve.

So for those who looking for a better alternative, here are some major independent organic food companies that cannot be associated with the rise of unhealthy processed foods.  Clif Bar (and Luna), Organic Valley, Eden Foods, Applegate Farms, Pacific Natural Foods, Newman’s Own Organics, Golden Temple (Peace Cereal, Yogi Tea), and others.  Some of the companies are even cooperatives, including Frontier Natural Products (Simply Organic), Alvarado Street Bakery, Equal Exchange, and Organic Valley.

In lieu of the fact that more and more organic labels are going to hit the store shelves every year, I think we need to be especially conscious of whether these apparently healthy foods are really serving our interest or someone else’s.  With this information, you can get a better idea of who is on your side in the grocery store.

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2 responses to “When you eat, who profits?

  1. fletchingarrows

    hey, just wondering, what is your take on whole foods/trader joe’s store brands? i took a look at the charts you posted (interesting, scary) and it seems like wf and tj are not affiliated with the “bad guys”. both make what i consider healthy product, though they also produce pastries, snack chips, etc. i’m with you on the not wanting to support kelloggs et al, but i am curious to know your stance on big business organics.

  2. goodfriendsam

    fletchingarrows – Thanks for the comment, that’s a good question. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s both have mission statements that put them in a slightly more idealistic category than most grocery stores, and they do have a number of healthy products you can’t find in a regular grocery store.

    However, you need to be as careful in these stores if not more so because there are a number of nonhealthy products masquerading as healthy. Just because your baked goods came from Whole Foods does not mean they are whole foods. But if you stick to real foods like eggs, vegetables, fruit, and minimally processed foods like yogurt and peanut butter, these stores are fine.

    The other problem I have with these stores is that they only supply produce and meats from farms who are large enough to distribute on a national scale. Indeed, these stores support conventional farming just as much as any other. So these are clearly leagues behind farmers markets and co-ops.

    Hope that helps.

    Sam

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