In today’s world it is becoming apparently clear that we can no longer rely on other people, companies or even the government to look out for our best interests, especially when it comes to health. But the good news is that this gives us the opportunity to grow, become empowered and make the right choice based on our own knowledge… talk about a sustainable practice!
So today I thought it would be very valuable to share with you my latest quest to uncover the truth behind so many of these so-called “natural” food products that are out there.
This all started when I began noticing “natural” product lines such as Burts Bees and Powerbar in stores such as Target and WalMart. At first I was excited to think that the world is finally taking a turn for the better and that these small, health conscious brands are breaking into the marketplace indicating the change in consciousness. But then I began seeing them more and more, and I could not ignore my gut feeling that something was not right. Instead of jumping at the chance of buying these “health” brands at a cheaper price, I steered away and found more local options. After awhile people started asking me about my choices, and I really didn’t have an answer other then I just didn’t feel like they were healthy anymore. In my mind, if a large company like Target and Walmart are purchasing the product, then the company must be compromising the quality as well as their morals and ethics to be able to provide a price that would suit these mass retailers. And the point is that TRULY natural products are expensive to make because they use the REAL thing, so how in the world could they afford to sell to these guys?
After much research, I found the answer. The TRUTH is that these “health” companies have been sold to the unhealthy Mega Corporations, or controllers of the food industry, under the guise that they are still run by health conscious business owners. These corporations recognize that the market is shifting towards health conscious products and are therefore following the money. Unfortunately, they are not following up with the health and environmentally conscious foundations that these products were developed from and instead are just marketing under the false claims that they still do. Furthermore, the majority of the time these mega corporations are not listed on the packaging so you as a consumer have no idea that they are the true owner. As a result, you go along your merry way thinking that you are eating healthy, environmentally conscious food and beverage products, when in fact, we are consuming a slightly better version of the unhealthy alternative. Not to mention, we are funding the very corporations that are pushing the TRULY health conscious, small brands out of the market that desperately need our dollars to actually make a change.
The Rundown (who owns who)
Back to Nature
The Body Shop
Tribe Mediterranean Foods
Earth’s Best Organic
Greek Gods Yogurt
Walnut Acres Organic
Rice and Soy Dream
Garden of Eatin’
Little Bear Organics
Tom’s of Maine
Food Should Taste Good
Green and Blacks Chocolate (under Cadbury)
* Click on the Company Name for a full list of their brands*
What does this Mean?
While I would like to hope that these Mega Corporations maintain some sort of integrity by manufacturing these “health” products with our actual health and not money in mind, but the truth is that that they became MEGA corporations by being successful at making money, not by making us healthy. At the end of the day, their bottom line is to be greatly profitable, and the truth is that making extremely high quality products is just not that. Therefore, I feel as though these “natural” products are really not what we had in mind.
Does this mean I Shouldn’t Eat these Products?
In my opinion, consuming these products is the same as voting for these food corporations, and for me that is enough of a reason to put my money elsewhere. But in terms of actual health, I am putting my money on them not being the right choice. In fact, Kashi cereals, which are owned by the Kellogg corporation, have been found to contain a copious amount of GMOs and pesticides, according to an explosive report from the Cornucopia Institute. Kashi’s ’Heart to Heart Blueberry cereal’ was found to contain grains coated in the residue of many pesticides such as phosmet, carbaryl, azinphos methyl, malathion, chlorpyrifos methyl, chlorpyrifos. What’s more, the company’s products were found to oftentimes contain 100% genetically modified ingredients.
Based on this information, we should most certainly second guess our favorite “natural” brand listed above and look towards more local options instead. While I am certainly not claiming that all the products listed above contain pesticides, GMO’s, toxic fats etc. I would bet that the majority do, and if you do LOVE a product listed above, take the time to research more about it to ensure that you are really getting what you intended.
On some respects we can say that this is a triumph, because whether these companies are producing “natural” brands because of money or because of quality, at least it is a message that we as the consumer are changing our mindset about what we want the buy. Therefore, this is truly the first step in changing the marketplace, and forcing companies to realize that the chemical-laden, GMO, toxic food and products are just not cutting it. Furthermore, this is a direct testament to the fact that we DO have control of what is put out there and that is through our dollar. So take the initiative and start purchasing with a conscience. Spend the extra dollar for the truly healthy and local product instead of the mass produced one, and give the companies with integrity a chance. It is completely possible for us to change the ways things are done if you choose to participate.