This photo taken at a supermarket called The Green Grocer in Porthsmouth, RI, has been circulating Facebook like wildfire:
The yellow signs read: “You might be wondering where your favorite Kashi cereals have gone. It has recently come to our attention that 100% of the soy used in Kashi is Genetically Modified and that when the USDA tested the grains used there were found to be pesticides that are known carcinogens and hormone disruptors.”
Kashi’s Facebook feed is blowing up with dissatisfied consumers who have taken note of the image on Facebook and were apparently unaware either of the use of GMOs in most brands on store shelves or had fallen victim to corporate marketing schemes. (Kashi was previously an independent company. After a takeover by Kellogg’s, the organic labeling slowly disappeared while Kashi maintained its “natural” presence on store shelves. Kashi is sold in the “natural and organic” aisle of my local grocery store, but thanks to the documentary, Food Inc., I’ve known about these marketing ploys for some time.) It is because of deception techniques such as these that I began this blog and will admit to daydreaming about a covert rebel mission where I place signs similar to The Green Grocer’s on my local store’s shelves.
So, I’m sitting here rubbing my hands together and cackling like a devious arch-villain at the thought of Kashi/Kellogg’s marketing team scrambling to “fix” this media shit-show. Kashi did post this photo, touting seven of their products that are certified organic and labeled non-gmo. The sad truth is that nothing will be done to change their other 84 products, though, until consumers stop buying their goods. Why?
KASHI HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG.
You read that right. At least in a legal sense, Kashi has done nothing but try to sell a product to the American public, using fads and an image that is appealing to a certain type of buyer. There are currently no laws against using words like “good,” “all-natural,” and “whole grain,” nor against clean-looking packaging nor against using unique ingredients. None of these attributes makes a product necessarily “good for you,” but it does make a product appear “better for you” in a sea of other processed goods.
This is why it is important to know the facts.
What you can do:
2. Know who owns what. It is not always the case, but more often than not, a larger company isn’t as concerned with a quality product as they are about the bottom line. Check out the Who Owns Organic? brand list.
3. Understand that the terms “organic” and “natural” don’t mean ALL ingredients are organic nor that anything about the product is healthy. Read your labels. Check out this shopper’s guide (also an app!) from Center for Food Safety.
4. Purchase organic produce from local growers (or grow your own!) as much as possible. Eat unprocessed foods.
5. Follow Healthful Mama! Get news, resources, recipes, and links straight to your inbox. You can also catch extra stories that aren’t posted on the blog by following my Facebook page or catch me on Twitter.
Because Kashi is such a mainstream brand, I hope this recent negative attention to their brand brings light to the issue of GMOs found in all foods.