The food industry as we know it is very twisted today. Every major company has subsidiaries and by creating this monopoly results one company owning many of the worlds consumer product brands. For example, Unilever is a British company, and although we know them as the maker of Dove soap, they are also the makers of; Lipton (tea), Vaseline, PG Tips(tea), Suave, and Finesse. I've only began to touch the tip of the ice berg.
Since the 1980's Unilever has managed to buy 7 large companies.
These companies include:
Calvin Klein Cosmetics 1989
Helene Curtis 1996
Best Foods 2000
Ben & Jerry's 2000
Silm Fast 2000
Alberto Culver 2010
Just in October 2010, Unilever purchased Alberto Culver. Alberto Culver is the maker of VO5, TRESemmé, and Mrs. Dash. The company Alberto Culver was purchased at a whopping 3.5 billion dollars. It sounds to me like Unilever has a lot of capital. None of the brand names I have mentioned are natural and Unilever still seems to do well in its market.
With Unilever being the worlds leading company in hair conditioning products and the second largest company in shampoo, this gives us an idea of how much poison is going on consumers scalps as well as in our environment. In my opinion these companies are too big to fail. As long as we support them, the more synthetics and chemicals we will expose our selves to.
No wonder the bee is disappearing, I would disappear too if for thousands of years I have been buzzing on this earth flying from flower to flower - the way mother nature intended. All of a sudden the humans come and what do you know, I'm drinking run-off contaminated with pesticides from farmlands.
Nature is a cycle that has worked before we could even learn how to say our ABC's. It is no surprise by us tampering with the way our food grows that the bee no longer fits into this natural cycle. Indeed, its not natural if man interferes with a cycle proven to work even after we self destruct.
Independent or pretending to be independent?
The other day in a health food store I stumbled upon a cereal by the name of Barbara's. The cereal ended up being not too bad and the ingredients were pretty pure. On the side of the box it said: Petaluma, California. I've heard good things about Petaluma, California - very active community. Back to the point, the cereal says made in Canada. I love Canadian products! It's not necessarily sustainable to buy cereal made in Canada concerning all the energy involved for this box to get here but where can I find quality cereal without all the synthetic ingredients that are not made by mainstream monopolized companies.
This is important to know who you are supporting. We love to support local companies, but just because General Mills has been around since the 1800's doesn't mean I have to support them. This is another example of a company too big to fail. Total revenue of General Mills in 2009 was 14.7 Billion dollars. I like to see a company stick around for a long time but buying other companies and owning every other restaurant i.e. Red Lobster and Olive Garden is plain greed. Both consumer and manufacturer play even roles.
Business as usual.
Barbaras cereal is made by Barbaras Bakery Inc, a subsidiary owned by Wheetabix Food Co. Wheetabix was originally invented in the 1920's by Bennison Osbourne. In 2004 Weetabix was bought by Lion Capital LLP. Before Lion Capital LLP it was an affiliate of Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, one of the largest "private" equity firms of the 1990's. Just when I thought I was supporting something independent and sustainable, I'm proven wrong once again.
The goal of the major companies is to buy small successful established businesses. Cadbury for example was recently acquired by Kraft. Cadbury is a British chocolate manufacturer. The acquisition of Cadbury faced widespread disapproval from the British public, as well as groups and organizations. People started to fight the takeover, but as usual money ruled. After promises to keep factories open and people employed the opposite is happening.
Around the world people stand up and use social media outlets to build awareness and fight corporate takeovers.
What to do
I ask my self this, where are the independent companies? I imagine its hard for a person to start their own cereal company especially in this economy. It is not easy as a small business owner, we aren't eligible for many tax breaks, loans, and medical insurance for employees are costly - yikes! That's enough to discourage a person to succeed.
I'll keep researching companies and their subsidiaries and their partner companies and their sister companies until I find good intentions. Until then, I'll support farmers markets, local artist, and local health food stores.
The who owns who.
|Products can contain GMO (Genetically modified organism)
A genetically modified organism (GMO) or genetically engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.
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