Big Brands = big ethics fail

Big Brands = big ethics fail

The following information could turn you off snack foods and sweetened beverages, so if you need some help, why not come along for the ride?

Oxfam has just released a report on how the multi-national food and beverage companies are doing on social responsibility and the environment. 9 of the 10 brands investigated failed dismally and the 10th brand scored 38/70. Nothing to be proud of.

The effects of the rape-pillage-and-plunder attitude appears to be undermining food security and economic opportunity for the poorest people in the poorest countries. Not one company had made a commitment to ensure small operators (usually families) were paid a fair price for their products.

Western Governments seem unable or unwilling to help with our own coalition preventing mandatory palm oil labelling when it was about to be passed. So it is up to you and me to vote with our food dollars. Every food choice we make has a long-term impact on the environment and people we will never meet, which can lend us to apathy about changing our purchasing habits.

Greenpeace did a survey on the average shopper and found most were horrified at the impact the canned Tuna industry has on ‘by-catch’ – being the other sea creatures like sea turtles and dolphins caught in the nets but awareness does not necessarily change purchasing habits. It takes an investment of heart.

We have to ask ourselves, do we want to be part of the problem or part of the solution and shop accordingly. We are no longer innocent bystanders in this issue because of the transparency afforded by globalisation and the internet.

Representatives of the food and beverage companies have said in defence, they will keep making what consumers buy. High fat, sugar and salt foods are addictive so I know it can make it stop consuming them.

Before you reach out for that chocolate bar you don’t need, the highly processed cereal nature never intended or the sugary beverage that rots your teeth, think again and educate yourself on better choices.

Mandy, COC Dietitian .