Say No to Silk (and Other Agribusiness Notes)


“The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they feed themselves.”
-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

I’ve been meaning to post something about this for a while, but haven’t gotten around to it. I know a lot of people who drink or use soy milk, and Silk was a pretty good brand when it was run by White Wave in Boulder, CO. However, White Wave was purchased by Dean Foods, Inc., the largest dairy producer in the United States, and one day the organic label just disappeared, and whole host of quality and sustainability issues entered the stage.

Speaking of milk, a while back I saw photos of Belgian dairy farmers protesting plummeting milk prices. I’ve heard jokes made about European farmers utilizing dramatic or guerrilla tactics in protest (in cases such as French farmers dumping manure on Mickey D’s), but I find it incredibly sad when people find themselves in such a place of desperation that they deem these acts necessary.

Back to food conglomerates, I found an awesome chart the other day, examining the company hierarchies of many organic brands. Organic is a good choice for the environment and our bodies, but the practices of a lot of the food conglomerates that own some of these brands are… questionable (*pats self on back for diplomacy*).

Sometimes we only have one organic brand choice at hand, and if your heart is set on that item, I understand the purchase. However, if we have more than one option, we as consumers should be as informed as possible, and should strive to buy the best product from the best company (within financial reason). It might take an attitude adjustment and a little heart redirect — so our hearts aren’t set on items that we can’t reasonably acquire through reputable sources during certain seasons — but I kind of think that this sort of thing becomes easier with practice (speaking of practice… I need some).

This chart is by no means complete, but it’s a great start, and it looks like it will continue to be updated. Who Owns Organic? The Organic Corporate Brand List

Addendum: In my mind this goes without saying, but Janie’s comment reminded me that I didn’t mention this: local farmers are best!

/soap box


10 thoughts on “Say No to Silk (and Other Agribusiness Notes)

  1. Thanks for this; seems like the best thing is to find a LOCAL FARMER to buy from, what we don’t grow ourselves. Good luck everyone, together we can make a difference!

  2. great post lady. it reminds me of when your mom warned me to be conscious about what kind of tofu i bought because soybeans are a big GMO crop.

  3. I was bummed when I first heard about Silk ’cause it’s by far the most affordable brand and I have kids that suck it down like nobody’s business. Incidentally, I was at a vegan recipe blog the other day and they were “giving away” Silk and I thought it really odd that this vegan chef would be pushing this brand that is so clearly not about animal welfare, or sustainability, etc. Anyway, thanks for the link to the corporate brand list. Good stuff!! PS love your Bento boxes too!!!

    • Thanks for the kind words!

      I was bummed, too… I prefer the texture and flavor to other soy milks, but I just can’t do it anymore. Really bizarre that the vegan chef was giving away Silk! I wonder if some disclosures are coming from that chef soon, given the new blogging rules!

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