Thursday, 11 January 2018

Avoiding The Food Giants

how and why you should avoid the big 10 food companies
So about a year ago Joe and I began to get increasingly pissed off reading about large companies buying up smaller companies and essentially this leading to job losses. We then started to avoid Kraft now Mondelez. A short while after we made this decision I saw an infographic created by Oxfam that started to pop up referring to The Big 10 I chatted with this to Joe that evening and we decided that we were going to avoid the big 10. 

Initially we looked at one another and thought wow well we have decided to do this it is going to be tough and we sat to study the infographic more closely to see what we would be cutting out of our diet - the answer was not very much. One of the most obvious things when you look at this is that most of the food these companies are producing is overly processed crap - and no I am not pulling any punches today. With the odd exception they are feeding you nothing but junk. 

When we really looked we realised the only things we would miss were San Pelligrino, and I know that makes me sound like such a middle class wanker, and Marmite, (that is me not Joe). So there are other carbonated waters we can have and I am switching to Vegemite. With the exception of one Kelloggs product that Sebastian likes we are free of the big 10.

So why the exception with Kelloggs products, we feel that Sebastian only ever asks for the "mini cereal boxes" about 3 times in a year and he is allowed to have something kiddie and cute in his life and as far as the larger companies go we would be happy to pop them on the list of okay by us but we just don't eat their stuff ordinarily.
chickpeas how and why you should avoid the big 10 food companies
We have decided not be 'those' house guests. We have made a choice as consumers but turning up to other peoples homes and refusing half of what they offer you is just rude in our opinion so you can still invite us over. 

So why avoid them?
  • Large companies buy out the competition which is not great for the consumer
  • They promise that there will not be job loses but after a buy out there always is 
  • Huge conglomerates have to line the pockets of many many shareholders and this means that costs have to be cut somewhere often in food quality, job loses and workers rights.
  • Many of these companies have huge human and environmental infractions such as Nestle & Coca Cola, a quick search on Google will highlight these 
  • Most of these companies sell overly processed food and I prefer to know exactly what my family is eating 
  • Cutting out these foods will save you money in the long run
The fact is both Joe and I are not against big companies per sa and there are many industries where "the big boys" are the only ones with the requisite funds to plough into research and development such as energy. We also know that there are other evil if you want to choose a word, companies out there that are not food companies. Well yes we know that and we avoid other companies such as Apple and buy cruelty free everything but again that is our personal choice.
homemade pizza how and why you should avoid the big 10 food companies

How do we avoid them?
  • Buy ingredients and not convenience foods  
  • Buy local produce as much as possible
  • Look at alternative snacks such as keeping popcorn kernels in
  • Snack less, (this is something living in Paris taught me) we snack less so when we do we can afford more expensive crisps and biscuits from smaller local producers 
  • We are all busy so look into batch cooking to combat the loss in pre prepared foods you may have bought
  • Check online to see who the parent company is - you will be really surprised
I am going to update my archive pages to include a freeze ahead section so that you can easily find some great recipes. I will be adding more to this as time goes on also.
green beans how and why you should avoid the big 10 food companies
This is not the normal post from me but this issue is one we both feel strongly about on the grounds of our family's health and our socialist moral compass, we are big on workers rights and job losses in this house!

If you have any comments on this I am eager to hear them and if you agree, disagree or just think we have gone a bit woo woo here I am also eager not to exist in an echo chamber. If you are an independent food producer with a great moral code get in touch as I will be putting together a directory over the coming year. You do not have to be a super healthy organic producer just have ethics we can get behind and not be planning to sell out to one of the big 10.


  1. This is music to my ears. These days I hardly buy manufactured food and buy wholefoods and organic fruits & vege from small producers. I didn't stop for the same reasons than yours. I stopped because all this packaged food is filled with too much sugar that keeps us addicted, overweight & sick but the end result is the same. Shame Innocents Drinks was bought by Coca-Cola, it was a great company to start with

    1. I agree completely we have also noticed that we have managed to reduce the amount of plastics and packaging in general. It is odd as I feel as people are becoming more food aware these big companies keep buying up smaller companies in a bid to buy themselves a good reputation so the biggest issue I have is checking online that they are still independent

  2. This is such an interesting post! I've definitely been guilty of buying from some of the 'big' companies but watched a documentary quite recently about how these branded products are quite often the highest in sugars and salt and try my hardest to buy the products with the best nutritional value regardless of whether they are branded or not

    Bec |

    1. Thank you I feel that people are becoming aware as consumers for so many reasons from human rights to environmental factors and personal health larger companies need to recognise this shift and amend their practices and we need to keep exercising our powers as consumers they don't exist without customers

  3. My partner and I talk about food a lot and we do our best not to buy processed foods but more from a health stand point. I would love to support more smaller businesses and buy more local produce etc I do agree with your points too and supporting workers rights. I'm not a fan of these companies trying to appear more family orientated and wholesome buy buying up smaller companies as a front to seem that way.

    1. Oh I totally think they are trying to buy themselves an image and some wholesome press by simply buying it but it is backfiring. I have started emailing independent companies to applaud them and state why I shop with them in a hope that they don't get enveloped. My fear is being left with these giants.

      So much healthier not to have processed foods. When you look at health trends just in our own lifetime and how they correlate to eating habits it is pretty blatant that we need to change and get back to basics