Below is a chart I wanted to share from Dr. Phil Howard with his latest February 2014 updates of the Big Food industry brands that are buying up the organic brand “little guys”, and likely, implementing and imposing their very own manufacturing practices that cut back costs, make products cheaper and ultimately hit their bottom line for stock holders.  I’m all for capitalism, but when it comes specifically to the health of the human body, “cutting corners” to boost profit margins usually doesn’t mean having your best health interests in mind.

Coca-Cola owns Odwalla..

Pepsi owns Naked Juice..

General Mills owns Lara Bars..

M&M owns Seeds of Change..

Kellogg owns Kashi..

and a new one on the list very recently… a Dean Foods company now owns Earthbound Farm (organic lettuces, vegg, etc) as of December 2013.  That was news to me!

[update September 2014]  Annie’s was bought out by General Mills for $820 million.

[update 2016] This post was written in early 2014 with the infographic chart below.  The latest chart can be found here.

The list goes on and on.. click on the image below to enlarge.

Which Organic Brands Are Owned by Big Food Industry?



What does this chart mean for you?

It will simply give you an idea of the companies you’re buying from and supporting. Your money is energy and you have a right to vote every time you spend it.  Personally, I try to opt for equivalent products that are independently owned or from a local source.

The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day.  Every one of them has the potential to change the world.

-Michael Pollan

For example, Muir Glen (products like tomato sauces, canned tomatoes, etc.) and Cascadian Farms (frozen fruits and vegetables), both organic brands, I opt not to buy as they’re owned by General Mills – one of the largest processed food companies in the world, not to mention, contributors of the millions of dollars spent to defeat GMO labeling in California and Washington.  Rather, I prefer to buy an equivalent product from a local source or from another brand that is independently owned.

I’ll be the first to admit, this can take some practice with learning which organic brands are owned my major food conglomerates and which by small, independent companies, but this chart is a start to help you.

Some of the foundation principles I always teach are to eat and support local farms in your area.  This, when you think about it, has been how we’ve always eaten as a species since the beginning of human history – local within our ecosystem and organic (that’s all there was.. everything technically was organic before commercial farming practices became prominent in our food supply in past century or so).  Not only is the food more fresh (less transit time “farm to table”) and nutritious, it’s indeed what the human body is designed to function on as “fuel” for optimal health, vitality and performance.

So what are some steps you can take and implement next time you go grocery shopping?

  • Opt for local foods from your farmers market, CSA, or Co-op.
  • Try Local Harvest and Farm Plate to find local-organic-sustainable food sources. Both are like Google for food – farmers markets, farms, grocery, CSA, restaurants, etc.  Great sources to use when traveling, I’ll add.
  • Notice some of the organic brands on this chart and opt for the equivalent foods by a small independent brand

What did you think of this chart?  Surprised that some of these organic brands were owned by Big Food?  

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