Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The WomanStats Blog & my first post

The project I work with is always coming up with ways to better disseminate information. Hence, the arrival of the WomanStats blog!

I just finished writing my first post there. It is about an article I sniffed out in the New York Times.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I support local businesses (which support large corporations)!

Once upon a time I worked in a hippie mart called Roots. At the time it was very much a small, local business and I worked for peanuts because I really believed in it. It, like many other similar businesses, has changed as it has become more and more popular, but a lot of the changes go on behind the scenes.

I could probably go on and on about different things that would make people who care about local business, sustainable farming, and friendly food (what? ok) want to throw their hands in the air, but I'll stick to today's curiosity. I was really pleased to see that the BYU bookstore recently started carrying Equal Exchange chocolate again. Although I personally prefer the taste and variety of Seeds of Change (which, as it turns out, is owned by M&M/Mars), Equal Exchange is a close second in taste. I was thinking to myself how sad/funny/unnerving it would be if this company, which is reportedly all about fair trade, cooperatives, etc. was owned by Kraft or some such. So I went looking for the ownership diagrams I'd seen at back at Roots. I think it's fascinating to see who owns what.

Hurrah for Equal Exchange! A worker-owned cooperative!

On that note, remember Odwalla? "At Odwalla, we blend the best ingredients from nature with the latest learning in nutrition to create products bursting with living flavor that nourish your body, mind and spirit. Our mission today is the same as it's been for more than 25 years: nourish People everywhere, respect our Planet, protect the Soil with sustainable practicies, and create products good for the Soul." Oh, really? So, let's see... Odwalla, according to the bottle, is owned by odwalla, but let's check our diagrams (I even called them just to double-check):

Owned by Coca-Cola! Boo, Odwalla! Now, contrary to Stuff White People Like, I actually have a reason for disliking Coca-Cola besides the fact that it is a huge corporation that is not Ikea. This would be the fact that there have been murders at factories where unions were being organized. Hairy? Yes.

I guess my point in blogging about this is twofold:
1. It is interesting. What would happen if one of the large conglomerate food companies collapsed? Mass hysteria? Don't think it could happen? Fanny and Freddie Mae? Anyone?
2. Maybe those of us who care who we support should do a little more research? Just an idea. It's more work but only barely and it's worth it.

Happy eating!