Kraft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Nestlé. In some way or other, it is highly likely that you eat or drink something from one of these ten companies everyday, whether you know it or not.
This graphic from a website, Convergence Alimentaire (by Joki D. Gauthier in Quebec), shows how it is actually quite impossible for most of us not to consume, use, or otherwise rely on something from those ten companies. (Indeed, the companies own more brands than are indicated on the graphic; Gauthier notes that Nestlé owns more than 8,000 brands.)
As Mark Bittman says in the New York Times, the chart is “unbelievable (and very scary),” a statement of what life in the early 21st century means for many of us:
1. Maybe you don’t eat Oreos or Jello (staples of my childhood); Kraft also makes juice (Capri-Sun) and coffee (Maxwell House).
2. The decline in sales of soft drinks probably isn’t making Coca-Cola very happy but the company has plenty of other potable products you drink, from vitamin water to Dasani.
3. Likewise PepsiCo, which provides us with not only Pepsi but more bottled water through its Aquafina brand, as well as oatmeal (Quaker, that is).
4. General Mills makes cereal (Cheerios) and fills cans and frozen packages with vegetables (Green Giant).
5. Kellogg’s simply seeks to fill your cereal bowl with sweet (Fruit Loops) and less sweet (All-Bran) products.
6. Mars has edibles both for humans (candy, of various sorts) and for pets (Whiskas).
7. If you use Dove soap, any Vaseline products or Q-tips, you’re contributing to Unilever’s profits.
8. Johnson & Johnson doesn’t only make numerous over-the-counter medications; it also brings us Bandaids.
9. Proctor & Gamble is hard for anyone in the US to avoid, purveyors as the company is of soap (Ivory), laundry detergent (Tide), toothpaste (Crest) and batteries (Duracell).
10. Nestlé is equally hard to avoid, bringing you water (Poland Spring, Perrier), pet food (Purina, Friskies) and baby food (Gerber), as well as perfume under various labels.
But knowledge can be power: Knowing that ten companies’ products play such a role in our lives, how can we extricate ourselves from at least one?
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Photo by pmsyyz