I just learned that Zico Coconut Water was recently bought out by Coca-Cola. I used to make coconut water kefir from this brand because they told me in repeated emails that the water was pure. They were a small family owned company that I felt I could trust. Now I wouldn’t be so sure.
When I used to buy a lot of packaged “health” foods, I would read the labels diligently, even call the companies to check the ingredients thoroughly. I began to notice subtle changes in some of those products and I realized it would happen after they were bought out by a larger, conventional company. Then I dropped them.
Just Buy Real Food
Of course, this led to my current stance on not buying packaged food at all — just basic ingredients — most of the time. It’s hard to feed a family this way, I know. I’m able to do this because I feel very strongly that most packaged food lacks nutrition and has many dangerous additives — even the “health” foods.
Clearly, many health conscious folks are buying the packaged, organic “health food,” which has become a billion dollar industry. Many people buy organic in order to avoid genetically modified foods.
We Want GM Foods to be Labeled
Recent polls find that a whopping 93% of the American public support the labeling of genetically modified foods. Folks are concerned about the effects of GM food on their health — concerned that such foods may cause allergies, illnesses or even cancer. Others fear the environmental problems that may occur due to genetic engineering and the use of strong pesticides like glyphosate on the soil.
The entire European Union has mandated that GM foods be labeled in addition to 64 other countries. These countries have taken a stand for safety first — since genetically modified foods have not been studied by disinterested third parties.
The average consumers is not aware that there are many genetically modified ingredients in processed foods. Those who are, buy organic to avoid the GM ingredients.
Unknowing Support For Companies that Donated Money Against GM Labeling
Sadly, simply buying organic will not send the financial message to the food giants, since they now own many organic companies that we have grown to trust.
Profits from the sale of these healthier brands have been used to fight GM labeling efforts. Recently, in Washington state, the I-522 bill for the labeling of genetically modified foods was defeated due to the 11 million donated by the food giants. Go take a look at which companies donated huge amounts to defeat this labeling effort.
I am always so disappointed when I find out a small company has been bought. That is why it is so important to always check labels each time you buy, because they may start to make subtle, but significant changes to the ingredients. This is especially important if you are on a healing diet like GAPS, SCD or Paleo.
Support the Small Companies
I love to support the small ethical companies that set out to provide a good nutritious product from whole, high quality ingredients. Inevitably some of these companies give in to the demands of the open market and will sell out to these behemoth industry corporations.
It’s important to buy organic as this sends a message to food growers and companies that the public wants organic — not GMO food! But the fact of the matter is that many previously organic companies are now owned by the very companies that give huge amounts of money to fight against GM labeling!
Food Giants Take Over Small Organic Companies
For example, you may not know that:
- General Mills owns Cascadian Farms, Lara Bar and Muir Glen
- Kellogg’s owns Kashi, Bear Naked, Morningstar Farms and Gardenburger
- M&M Mars owns Seeds of Change
- Hershey owns Dagoba
- Kraft owns Back to Nature and Boca Foods
- Cadbury owns Green and Black’s
- Dean owns Alta Dena, Horizon and Organic Cow of Vermont
- Coca-Cola owns Odwalla, Honest Tea, Vitamin Water, Simply Orange, and now Zico Coconut water
- ConAgra owns Lightlife and Alexia Foods
In personal products:
- Clorox owns Burt’s Bees
- Colgate owns Tom’s of Maine
- Proctor and Gamble owns New Chapter (supplements)
- Johnson and Johnson own Aveeno
- L’Oreal owns The Body Shop
Sure, this allows the general public greater access to these organic products, but on the flip side can we actually trust these mega corporations to keep to the original product? These companies show complete disregard for safety and nutrition in their conventional products — using all kinds of GM ingredients (such as high fructose corn syrup), chemicals and additives that are not safe.
Importantly, people buying organic may also be doing so as a statement against genetically modified foods. How ironic and disappointing to find out that these small companies are actually the very corporations they are trying to avoid!
In 2013, Coca-Cola secretly funneled more than a million dollars through the Grocery Manufacturers Association in order to block an initiative that would have required the labeling of genetically modified foods.
After being threatened by a lawsuit, the Grocery Manufacturers Association disclosed which companies secretly helped finance the campaign against Initiative 522.
Want to support REAL organic and small businesses that sell high quality food?
Buy local when you can. Join your local chapter of the Weston Price Foundation (find your chapter here) and ask for their recommended food suppliers.
Check out my Resource Page for online suppliers of high quality food items and ingredients. These are the companies I use and trust.
Sign up to boycott the Coca-Cola brands being marketed as healthier alternatives until they pledge to cease any and all financial contributions to anti-GMO labeling efforts.