Wells column: Corporations are taking over your ‘health’ food | PostIndependent.com

Wells column: Corporations are taking over your ‘health’ food

Steve Wells

“Organic food is a scam,” a friend of mine argued while slurping down his GMO, mass-produced, cheap-junk adult beverage while slouching at the bar one evening. I got to thinking; could there be some validity to my inebriated friend’s comment? How could food made without known-to-be-toxic ingredients be bad?

General Mills Inc. has experienced a major shift in its market recently thanks to people like you and me who make informed choices about our eating behavior. Profits are slipping for this mega-giant “frankenfood” corporation. The Wall Street Journal reported that Kellogg Co. and Kraft foods are following suit with poor sales.

Before you crank up the jam-band music in celebration, pay attention to next issue. New Chapter is a company that made some of the best quality whole food supplements available. It offered some great education along with its line of supplements. Like General Mills, New Chapter is going through some changes. It has just been bought by Procter & Gamble.

If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em! How else can you control market share? This is just competition 101. Do you really think that the heads of these uber-successful corporations are going to let a few health-food nuts affect profits? No way. They have bills to pay too. Should they lay off thousands of workers just so a few hippies can eat healthier hemp seed granola?

The folks at General Mills are no dummies either. They need to compete with P&G for market share. They have shareholders to answer to, just like every one of these publicly traded companies that run everything. They just bought Annie’s Inc. to the tune of $820 million. This was a great, small company that made organic foods found at your local grocery mega corporation store. Do you think that corporate brass will change some of the practices of these smaller companies? Do you think that this will affect the quality of these products?

If big companies notice they are losing market share to a smaller company on any item, they have a few strategies to fix the problem. They can buy the company and bury it. They can just bury it with legal slander or great marketing without buying it. They will buy the company for the brand name and force the company to change the quality to make it profitable for the new owner. Big companies will force distributors not to carry competing products. It’s just another day in big business.

A New Chapter co-founder was delighted to appeal to General Mills, and labeled it as “a dream come true,” according to Mike Adams, the Health Ranger and editor of NaturalNews.com.

So selling out a $100 million company to the absolute enemy is OK if it’s for enough money? This is only after you’ve made $100 million ripping on the very giant food corporations to which you are selling out. I wish somebody would pay me millions to give up; even a couple grand would suffice. I am not above bribery and/or extortion. We all like to think that we would not sell out. It’s easy to sit here and criticize, but at least I’ll admit that I would do it too.

The point is that if you think that you can trust organic food producers, think again. If you want something done right, do it yourself. You can control the quality of your food if you really want to — it’s just easier to open a box of organic mac and cheese and talk yourself into feeling good about it. It’s not “organic” that’s the scam, my friend, it’s the delivery mechanism that’s the problem.

We can blame everyone else for everything, but what are we actually doing about it? Not much at all, regretfully. The only way to beat super-intelligent, highly trained, extremely greedy, ego-driven, corporate entrepreneur types that run the world’s economic system is to drop out.

I am aware that means you have to go back to doing a lot of your own stuff. You can’t just grow a beard to look more rugged in your cubicle. You have to be willing to go back to some of the inconveniences that used to keep us in great shape. All of the convenient factors that we enjoy contribute to the problem.

Is there a balance? Yes, but moderation is no fun. Until we are ready to relinquish a little bit of our lavish lifestyle, we’ll continue to have to deal with deceitfully poisonous food and all of the awesome conveniences that come with it.

Steve Wells is a personal trainer and co-owner of Midland Fitness. His column appears on Tuesdays.

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