Bob's Links and Rants

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Monopolizing the food supply--and proud of it! I've seen several ads on TV lately for Conagra Foods bragging about how many different food brands they own. Hunts, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher, etc., etc., etc. I checked their website to see which brands are owned by Conagra. Want to buy some popcorn? Maybe you prefer Act II or Jiffy Pop to Conagra's Orville Redenbacher. That's fine with Conagra--they own all three brands! A little margerine for your popcorn? Choose between Blue Bonnet, Parkay and Move Over Butter--they're all Conagra. Hot dogs? Armour, Ekrich and Hebrew National are all Conagra. Check some of the other major food companies: Kraft (Philip Morris), Coca Cola...the variety of colorful packages in the supermarket aisles hides the fact that you really have very few competing products from which to choose. This means higher prices and less real choice for you. It also means that these huge conglomerates are able to put the squeeze on farmers, forcing the few remaining independents into the jaws of the likes of Cargill, ADM and Monsanto. The number of people who have any say in what these corporations do is tiny, but they are basically establishing a monopoly on food production. And if somebody controls your food supply, he controls you.

And Conagra and the others are not only evil enough to pursue this goal, they are brazen enough to brag about it on TV.