Friday, June 10, 2011

Taking A Stand Against Big Business

I was going to do today's post about eco-confessions based on a similar post over at but then I watched Tapped last night and now have more important things to discuss. I'll bare my dirty secrets another day.

After learning about how these large companies take advantage of the public water system, manufacture plastic with no regard to air and water quality regulations, and lobby the government to turn a blind eye to how they are destroying the planet, I am making a commitment to no longer purchase any products from any of the brands owned by Nestle, Coca Cola, or Pepsi. Nestle practically owns every single processed food brand known to man. Aside from it's bottled water, soda, and energy drink brands, Pepsi owns lots of cereal and chip brands including Sun much for not feeling guilty about eating chips (it's a compostable bag). Coca Cola owns a lot of bottled water brands on top of lots of other bottled beverage brands. For Pepsi and Nestle the list of products is daunting.

I have linked to each company's official website for a list of their brands:

Coca Cola

It simply isn't enough to avoid plastic use on a daily basis. We can choose one product over another to reduce our plastic consumption but if we're buying one Nestle product instead of another it's not going to cause any real change. It's not enough to stop drinking bottled water if your money still ends up in the pocket of the company that sells that bottled water. These companies really only sell convenience products. You don't need to buy Quaker instant oats or Digorno frozen pizza. Humans have been living for thousands of years without baby formula, instant rice, and energy drinks.

This doesn't mean having to give up all "processed" foods. After all, even a chic environmentalist can be hungry and short on time and planning. That doesn't mean we have to starve or sacrifice. There are actually some great companies out there making processed food that you can feel good (or at least a little better) about. Honestly, I don't purchase much processed food to begin with and I rarely have purchased things that could have possibly or definitely were Nestle, Pepsi, or Coca Cola brand products. Trust me though, I'll be telling all of my friends to do their shopping with other brands.

Annie's Homegrown ~*~ "Annie’s chooses packaging materials that are friendly to our Earth. All of our packages are made with recycled content and vegetable based-inks, and all of them can be tossed in the recycling bin. We use post-consumer recycled materials whenever possible – for example, our boxes are made from 100% recycled paper fiber with a minimum of 35% post-consumer content." Annie's also has a renewable energy project and uses natural ingredients that are easy to pronounce and recognize. They have a number of organic options.

Kashi ~*~ Kashi uses recycled paperboard but says nothing about recycled plastic. They are taking steps to reduce their packaging for a number of their products but they do offer a number of "single serving" options. Like Annie's they have a commitment to natural ingredients and try to use ingredients from the US as much as possible. They have some organic options.

Amy's Kitchen ~*~ It worries me that I can't find packaging or sustainability information on their website. I sent them an email so hopefully I'll get some information that way. On the positive side though, they do use primarly organic ingredients and offer only vegetarian foods. Not supporting pesticides and factory farms goes a long way in helping the environment. If you have to choose between Amy's & Stouffers (a Nestle company) and I'd say Amy's is a winner every time.

Izze ~*~ Boycotting the 2 biggest soda manufacturers in the world might leave you wanting some fizz in your life. Izze doesn't use plastic in their packaging, they have a commitment to renewable energy and recycling (they use 10% post-consumer recycled paper for their packaging) and they use all natural ingredients. They do not offer anything organic.

I can't think of any other companies that I would recommend off the top of my head. Of course none of these are prefect and they all use plastic in some capacity or another. However, if you're going to purchase convenience foods it's nice to know the food is coming from a company that cares and is at least trying to do the right thing. Afterall, isn't that how we are too? Not always perfect but trying to do the right thing.

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