Monday, September 29, 2008

Day 161 of our Green Year: Boycotting Food Chains

When we try and go green each day, we find that there are many companies we have to boycott because of their environmental record. Mostly we boycott them from what we hear from various websites like However, at various times through Our Green Year, we will address the companies in various industries that we boycott and why. Thank you to Kelly Sonora for providing us with a list of 100 companies to boycott from here. For this blog, we will address the food companies we are boycotting, if we have been boycotting them from before and why we are boycotting them.

  • Aurora Organic Dairy: This is a milk supplier that is sold in Wal-Mart and Safeway. Often, they do not meet USDA organic requirements and should not be considered organic. We buy our milk locally, so this should not be a problem to avoid.
  • Sara Lee: This company has had to pay $5.25 million in damages due to violations of stratospheric ozone protection regulations. We will make sure we do not buy from this company now.
  • Nestle: In Deer Park, Florida, residents must conserve water but Nestle has paid a license to continue to use 1.5 million gallons of water a day for their bottling plant. They also aggressively promote bottle formula over breast milk.
  • Monsanto: This company is a world leader in pesticide production including Agent Orange. We do not know if we have bought anything from this company but we will ensure we do not now.
  • Archer Daniels Midland: This company burns peatlands in Indonesia for palm plantations and is responsible for tons of carbon dioxide. Roughly 1.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year of emissions are emitted by Archer Daniels Midland and other companies that use this practice. Again, we do not think we buy from this company, but we for sure won't be now.
  • PepsiCo: Pepsi bottles tap water that could be used by those who need it, and create huge amounts of plastic bottles that many people do not recycle. Since we prefer to make our own soda when we want some, we do not buy Pepsi.
  • Cadbury: Cadbury is guilty of violating the Clean Water Act on several occasions to do industrial runoff. We do not buy from this company because we buy fair-trade and organic chocolate.
  • Dole: This company has been fined for contaminating water and workers in Ecuador have been exposed to several chemicals and horrible conditions. We will not be buying from this company at all.
  • Heinz: This ketchup company uses palm oil in some products, which is responsible for rainforest destruction in Indonesia. We will no longer buy Heinz ketchup, or any other products from them, including vinegar.
  • Starbucks: Despite claims that it is green, it was picked as one of the Ten Worst Greenwashers in 2003. It uses ten percent recycled paper in its hot drink cups, but in other fields of recycled content it does not do well at all. We have not gone to Starbucks for quite awhile, and that will continue now.
  • Smithfield Foods: They have been fined $12.6 million for violations of the clean Water Act due to the high amounts of hazardous substances in water that the company creates. We do not believe we have bought from this company, but we will make sure we do not now.
  • McDonald's: 'Raunchy Ronnies' is responsible for huge amounts of beef production that pollutes the world with methane. They also create huge amounts of unneccessary packaging. Luckily, we hate McDonald's. In fact, we would rather eat a whole pineapple and let it pass through our system than go to this burger joint.
  • Tyson Foods: They have had 20 violations of the Clean Water Act at its processing plant because of how it treats wastewater. We do not know if we have bought from them, but we will not anymore.
  • Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola is responsible for drying up water in a village in India, meaning that the people in the village must travel far to get water. Since we prefer to make our own soda when we want it, we do not buy Coca-Cola. This will continue.
  • Burger King and Wendy's: Burger King scored 0 out of 100 when judged for reversing climate change. Wendy's is also criticized for its lack of commitment to reversing climate change as well. Also, some of their food products apparently include carcinogenic chemicals in their food. We are not big fans of fast food or burger joints, see McDonald's.
  • Chiquita Brands: Banana pickers employed by this company suffer from health problems due to insecticides, with the full knowledge of the company. We will never purchase bananas from this company.
Coming up, we will address the retailers we will be avoiding in the future.

Thankfully, most of what we do with Our Green Year helps us avoid many of these companies already. We hope you can too, if possible.