I rarely write posts like this. Honestly, on this blog, I try to take a pretty non-confrontational, middle ground view on most things. Sure, I can be opinionated. If you know me, you know that to be true. BUT I also try to see both sides of everything, though I may not always succeed. I most definitely feel as though there isn’t one right way for everyone (on most things ;-)). After reading this first paragraph, you can see why I try hard not to take a hard stance on most things on this blog – it’s because there is always a BUT, an EXCEPTION to the rule.
Back to my view on Annie’s. I chose to write about this mostly because it gives some insight on my stance on choosing real food, organics vs. non-organics, and big corporate America.
I have bought Annie’s products. In fact, just last week I stocked up on their bunny fruit snacks and their graham crackers. They happen to be H’s favorites, AND this company is VERY good about labeling which products are produced in a tree nut/peanut free facility. And then I heard the news. I read the sell out message on their FB account saying that they had been bought by General Mills. As I read it, I thought, “Be open minded. Not everything in your pantry is perfect, not everything is real.”
I strive to eat real food. I strive to feed my family real food. I strive to make most of our meals and snacks. BUT (and this is a huge but) I don’t always succeed. We go out to dinner at times. We get pizza. The kids (gasp) have eaten fast food. We are not perfect. And neither is Annie’s.
Here is my problem:
My problem is that I am on a path, a journey if you will, to making choices as a consumer that support the companies that deserve my support. I support local farms. I support farmers that follow organic practices in their farming. I am a know your farmer kind of gal. I support small companies (and large ones too) that go the extra mile to make sure that they too are on a path toward sustainable living. And with that comes striving toward GMO-free production – specifically those that are transparent, locally produced goods, and those that are Made in the USA. I do not want companies that don’t share my goals and philosophies to work their way into my life. I am trying to phase them out.
I feel like Annie’s back tracked on me. I am breaking up with them because our goals just took a turn and went in a different direction. By joining General Mills’ team I feel like Annie’s is condoning a company that is not transparent about its production and manufacturing practices as well as ingredients. They are condoning anti-labeling funders (huge ones at that). Heck they’re not even just condoning them, they are joining with them.
Bottom line is…I’m out. As I continue on a journey toward real food, finding real food alternatives, healthy living, and natural living in all aspects, not just food, I have no room for companies like Annie’s. So, as easy as it would be to buy them in Target or our local grocery store, and how much we enjoyed their product, I just won’t do it.
Annie’s, your product is great (right now at least), and heck, I get it – $800 and some million is A LOT of money, BUT we just aren’t meant for each other anymore. Kudos to you if you can do what you say you can – stay true to your brand and hold those manufacturing processes in place. But…you’re feeding the mouth of a big mean giant and that isn’t very nice either. They want you because you’re eye candy on a shelf. You’ve built a good name – Annie’s Organic. Everyone loves you. People are getting greener, becoming more aware. And to the maker of Cheerios, the one that wants to hide ingredients and remain sketchy about where their products come from, that is scary.
Let’s hope I’m wrong. Maybe General Mills will change. Maybe.
Let me be clear. I said it before and I’ll say it again. I am not perfect. This is a journey. I do NOT always eat perfectly (at all). When I began this blog I was in a far different place than I am now. Each and every single day I learn something that I didn’t know before. I take that information and I make changes. We as a family make changes. We are striving toward a goal and slowly ditching the things that pull us farther away from it. But let’s move forward. Not backward. When I research and carefully choose a company and product based on it’s manufacturing, ingredients, and transparency, I want my dollars to go to that company. It makes me sad that GM will now be receiving those dollars.
Well written articles offering a different perspective on this: