My Personal 2016 Food Brand Challenge

At DU in grad school my life is studying food. (My masters will be in International Development concentrating on Global Health and Food Security). You’d think evaluating food all day would make me hungry… instead, what I have learned, makes my blood boil.

10 food companies own 90% of the market share. This is NOT OKAY because very little decision-making power is leftover for the remainder of the players in the food supply and commodity chain, particularly producers.

Right now I have too many questions to count, few answers, but day by day I will work to find solutions.

Solutions for now…


I chose the food I buy and prepare for myself.  Thus, when strolling down the grocery aisle and confronted with the 42,000 items carried in the average grocery store, I can chose alternative brands from the top 10 food companies. However, illustrated by the Oxfam Chart above and below, these brands (and their off-shoots) dominate- so you have to be conscious.

Who I am avoiding:

  • PepsiCo
  • CocaCola
  • Mondalez International (Formerly Kraft)
  • Nestle
  • General Mills
  • Kelloggs
  • Unilever
  • Danone
  • Associated British Foods
  • Mars

I can change the profit margins of multinational food conglomerates by leaving one bag of frito-lay chips (PepsiCo) on the shelf at a time. Some claim this $3 may not make a difference, but I believe it does. One bag at a time- like “Every penny counts”.

Additional side benefit to this political diet: I’ll eat more healthily. Majority of the foods these brands carry are highly processed with sugars and fats which are not good for you.

My voice will be heard and my actions will make a difference. So will yours.

If you need more determination- you are helping starving children. Seriously, educate yourself and watch the documentary Black Gold.

This personal endeavor has also been largely guidedby the Oxfam Behind the Brands Campaign. Check out this updated article here: 

Image Courtesy Oxfam Behind the Brands Campaign

**Image Courtesy Oxfam Behind the Brands Campaign


The ultimate goal is to forgo these brands altogether- but I am giving myself a year to do so. In January, I will be uber aware of what food I am purchasing, what brands they are from, and the corporate social responsibility practices of the companies whose food I consume, as well as the nutrition provided.

This is what I ate today, as example:

Breakfast- Quaker oats, Nature Valley Cinnamon, Stoneyfield yogurt, Kroger brands raisins, Tropicana Orange Juice, **Specialty Coffee, Sugar in the Raw, Dean’s Milk.

Lunch- Homemade vegetable soup (With CSA and local colorado veggies 🙂 and Organic Wildrice and Jalepeno Cheese – with more coffee and sprouts green tea

Dinner- CSA 25 Farms Lettuce and Kuners black beans and same wildrice and spices, morton salt, pepper (have to look up brand).

Giradella dark salt and almond dark chocolate

And snacked on a couple yogurt raisins…sprouts brand.

Awareness day 1 has begun.

**Specialty Coffee from Southern Laos

Please Check out Jhai Coffee House 

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