When Frosted Flakes mascot Tony the Tiger shouts, “They’re Grrrreat!”, you can be sure he’s not raving about his parent company, Kellogg’s. In fact, the international food corporation’s recent actions have built a reputation for being an awful company. Although Kellogg’s is a main component in many Americans’ breakfast diets, here are four reasons to keep the company out of your pantry:
1. Labor Disputes
On Tuesday, Kellogg’s locked 226 employees out of its Memphis plant after failed labor negotiations. The union alleges that they have been bargaining to secure living wages and benefits for its workers, but that Kellogg’s offers do not meet these needs, despite having ample profits to pay the workers accordingly. At the Memphis facility, several workers have recently been let go, and the company appears poised to replace this labor with temp workers to whom they can pay substandard salaries.
Around the country, other Kellogg’s plants are facing similar issues. It looks likely that similar disputes will cause strife in three other cities in the near future.
2. Harmful Food Dyes
Kellogg’s still uses food dyes to color some of its products, specifically its “fruit” (but actually fruit-less) snacks. The dyes are not only unnatural, but also have been scientifically linked to allergies, hyperactivity and bad sleep habits in children. Certain dyes, like Yellow 5 and Red 40, are considered carcinogenic. In fact, the FDA has banned Red 3 in cosmetics and medicines because of its cancer-causing properties, yet still mysteriously permits its use in food products.
Last year, a Care2 petition started by a concerned mother amassed more than 200,000 signatures. The petition asked Kellogg’s to remove the artificial food dyes from fruit snacks for the health and safety of children. Thus far, Kellogg’s has ignored the public’s pleas and continued to use dyes in its products.
The largest provider of palm oil, Wilmar, has been deemed the “least sustainable… company in the world” by Newsweek, a dubious distinction considering how many unconscionable corporations exist. Despite the fact that Wilmar obliterates Indonesian rainforest and destroys the habitats of endangered species like the Sumatran tigers, Kellogg’s has partnered with this company to obtain cheap palm oil to use in its products.
When confronted with this problematic partnership, the Kellogg’s CEO said, “It’s something that the activists should really take up with Wilmar to determine the best path forward with them.” Kellogg’s may try to absolve itself of all responsibility on the matter, but by paying Wilmar to engage in this ecological assault, Kellogg’s is complicit, as well.
Sign a petition against Kellogg’s involvement with the deforestation here.
4. Misleading Breakfast Cereals
It’s bad enough that Kellogg’s produces the unhealthiest kids’ cereal on the market. Honey Smacks has more sugar than a Twinkie and is a disgusting 56% sugar by weight. The company is dishonest when it presents its cereals as a healthy option for breakfast.
Even more egregiously, however, is when Kellogg’s radically exaggerated its cereals’ healthful qualities. Five years ago, when advertising Frosted Mini-Wheats, the company claimed that the cereal improved kids’ memory and attentiveness. Because there was no actual science behind these claims, Kellogg’s lost a $4 million class action lawsuit for its deception.
The company also faced criticism for making it seem like their products contained real blueberries when, in fact, they actually featured chemical ingredients meant to mimic blueberries. What’s with all of the trickery, Kellogg’s?