We know from our Food and Sustainability class that conglomerates dominate the food landscape when it comes to processed foods. For example, pretty much our entire beverage industry belongs to the monopolies of Coke or Pepsi. However, even when trying to avoid these foods and beverages containing high-fructose corn syrup and “empty calories,” we are most likely supporting the companies that make them. The organic food market is a profitable one, and large food and beverage companies recognize this.
“In 2000, when the National Organic Program regulations were finalized, it represented $7.8 billion in annual sales; in 2012, consumers purchased $28 billion in organic products.”
To ensure companies don’t lose money when someone makes the responsible decision to purchase orange juice over coke, the companies simply buy the healthy alternative.
“In 2001, the Coca-Cola Company bought juice maker Odwalla and proceeded to put it in many of the stores that sell its less-healthful products.”
Food conglomerates are purchasing organic companies to diversify their products. This is good in the sense that healthy/organic alternatives are more widespread; however, your money is going straight into the pockets of the companies producing the sugary foods and beverages linked to weight-gain and diabetes. In order to avoid these companies spreading health epidemics, it seems that “organic” is not the way to go. The image below displays the interconnectedness of the organic industry and can be used as a tool to avoid paying the companies responsible for our nation’s health epidemic.