Monday, October 18, 2010

Why We're Doing This - Reason #3

It is becoming increasingly difficult to find food that isn't produced by Big Ag. You know those small mom-and-pop brands that have become popular because they appear to be healthier? Well, appearances aren't everything and they are quickly getting gobbled up by giant food conglomerates. Tom's of Maine? Yeah, they're owned by Colgate-Palmolive. Here are a few others to watch out for:

Seattle's Best Coffee - owned by Starbucks
Bass and Boddingtons - owned by Anhauser-Busch
Altoids - owned by M&M Mars, Inc.
Kashi, Morningstar, Gardenburger, Natural Touch and Bear Naked - owned by Kelloggs, who, as it turns out isn't all that interested in health.
Nantucket Nectars - owned by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Stonyfield Farm and Brown Cow - owned by Groupe Danone (aka Dannon)
Ben & Jerry's - owned by Unilever (this skeeves me out a bit because it's a company better known for making soap than for making food)
Naked Juice - owned by Pepsi Co.
Boca Foods and Back to Nature - owned by Kraft
Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen - owned by General Mills
Lightlife and Alexia Foods - owned by ConAgra
Odwalla - owned by Coca-Cola
Seeds of Change - owned by M&M Mars, Inc.
Dagoba - owned by Hershey Foods
Westbrae Natural, Earth's Best, Bearitos, Celestial Seasonings, Little Bear, Rice Dream/Imagine/Soy Dream, Westsoy, Arrowhead Mills, Walnut Acres, Debole's, Mountain Sun, Garden of Eatin', Shariann's, Nile Spice, Spectrum Organics, Breadshop, Tofutown, Casbah and Health Valley - all owned by Heinz and aligned with Cargill
Horizon, The Organic Cow of Vermont, Alta Dena, White Wave/Silk - owned by Dean Foods.
Santa Cruz Organic - owned by J.M. Smucker


  1. Well that's just great. Stop being so're making me want to do the same thing you're doing. :(

  2. Oh wow...That's a lot of disappointing news.

  3. I was actually very sad and dismayed when Starbucks aquired Seattle's Best Coffee. I remember the time before the name change when it was Stewart Brothers Coffee and was roasted on Vashion Island. Great "little" company. When they changed names, they kept the logo. Ah, back in the day when I used to live in Seattle... Before Starbucks and Microsoft became the devil to millions of Americans.

  4. This is what happens when lots of money is waived in front of small companies.
    I live in a ag state, and am surrounded by Big Ag, Big Farm, Monsanto for one, ConAgra for another.
    It is becoming more difficult to follow simple eating and substainable living, that is why it is so important to support your local farmer's markets if you have availability to them. Unfortunatly, where I am, the state is trying to disembowel these farmer's markets, due to what they claim is food safety issues. I would eat from any of my farmers market vendors at any time, compared to the Big Ag or Big Farm tables any day of the week. This is what happens when you allow the government to control your every move, including your food, and this will get worse as time goes on.

  5. I've actually been to the Ben & Jerry's factory in Vermont. They get all their milk from a dairy farmers' co-op, which is not too different from what you're doing. You have a valid point in this post, but it's not like Unilever bought the company and then proceeded to fire all its employees and replace them with soapmakers. :)

  6. You're right to a certain degree, however, you have to wonder what a personal care corporation knows about selling food products. I guess what skeeves me out is when taking over Ben and Jerry's the ingredients slowly morphed into something else. Their "all nautral" premium ice cream changed and started to include "factory" foods.

  7. I would guess that even if some of these smaller enterprises want to stay in business for themselves, they simply can't compete with the corporations. It's either sell out or go under, and while following your principles and not gong corporate sounds great, it doesn't feed you or your family. I'm not a big fan of how corporations have taken over almost everything in our country, but I think that's just today's reality.

  8. The reasons most of these companies sell to corporations isn't because they can't compete. They clearly can or the corporations wouldn't offer to purchase them.

    And clearly, we've fed our family for a year by not buying from corporations. Especially considering the majority of the food sold by corporations is processed junk food. Eliminate that from your diet and you've eliminated most of the corporations from your diet as well.