Being one who finds pleasure in outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, backpacking, and trike pedaling, I carry energy food bars with me if I will be out long enough to miss a meal. On my cross country trike journeys, food bars and protein drinks are one of my mainstays of nutrition because I’ll be pedaling for many hours on the road. I’ve been using bars and drinks by the Odwalla company, based out of Half Moon Bay, California. In fact, on my 2013 trike trip along the Pacific Coast, I rode right past their world headquarters. In reality though, it is no longer their world headquarters.
This is because Odwalla, once a company I felt good about due to its health oriented stance on food, is now part of the Coca-Cola family of products. Odwalla is owned by Coca-Cola, a company that is not the least bit concerned about the health and fitness of its customers. Simply looking at Coca-Cola’s primary product for decades will reveal this glaring fact. It is a company that has been destroying the health and longevity of children and adults one sip at a time, starting long before my entry onto Earth.
Well, that on its surface may be enough for most health conscious thinking adults to abandon the once-beloved Odwalla company products, but there is more! Yes, it was sad enough to see Odwalla sell out to a non-health oriented corporation, even though the reason was understood (some of their products killed people due to contamination years ago), but now Odwalla’s dark mother-ship has gone way past the borders of acceptability, at least in the minds of maximum functional longevity freaks like me! Yep, no more Odwalla products for this human ever again. My money is going elsewhere!
You see, I live in Oregon, and an initiative was on the recent ballot that would have required companies to list whether their products are produced using genetically modified organisms or compounds, what is known as GMO for short. There is still hot debate on whether or not GMOs are detrimental to human health, and sufficient time and studies have not passed to really know. But that is not the actual point in my head. Being a highly label conscious person, I most definitely want to know what is in every food product I eat, and where it comes from too. Many huge companies have now been stating on their labels the country of origin because the public outcry was beginning to hurt their profit margins.
But the GMO thing is different, in that there is no requirement most places to state the food’s purity. A genetically modified food is not pure. It does not exist in the natural world. It is artificially engineered by human bioscientists so that it can be heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides so as to maximize production and profits. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the GMO long-term safety issues with regard to maximum functional longevity, the right of food customers to know what is in their foods is seen as important by a portion of this society. Secretive companies are not my friends!
The GMO labeling requirement did not pass in Oregon several weeks ago. It seemed counter-intuitive that people would NOT want to know what they were eating, and about its safety to their health. Last evening, I finally found out some of what went into that defeat of the measure. Turns out that Colorado also had this up for public vote, and due in large measure by a huge corporation, both states are still not requiring labeling honesty practices. Coca-Cola invested about two million dollars ($2,000,000) towards an aggressive effort to make sure the ballot initiatives were defeated. Their move was indeed successfully executed, and labels today are the same as labels this past fall.
Companies that take seriously the potentially negative effects of genetically engineered (modified) organisms will always state on their product labeling that their food is non-GMO as a courtesy to their customers. These companies are also concerned about GMO use, and are proud to state the non-GMO content of their products. If a product is organic, it necessarily means it is also non-GMO, but a non-GMO product does not necessarily mean it is organic (tricky little thing to know). I do not buy foods that are genetically modified if pure options exist. My health is important to me.
The big food giants like Coca-Cola stand to lose huge profits if this had gone into law, because a rapidly growing segment of affluent humans is realizing that messing with DNA is not a smart thing to do, especially when long-term effects are not at all known until it is way too late, and thousands of people have suffered (just look at how long the cigarette industry got away with its products not being labeled). Coca-Cola does NOT know about the safety of GMO products. No one really knows at this point for sure because they are so new. But as for me, I prefer to eat real foods as pure as found in nature, not food synthesized by scientists paid by corporations to maximize their monetary gain.
You may be interested in the Coca-Cola boycott, which centers around their refusal to be transparent with their products. They are insisting on secrecy due to fear of what GMO labeling would mean for them. If you are interested to learn more, follow this link: http://cokeboycott.com/
Educated eaters of food know better than to buy items that are not clearly labeled either organic and/or non-GMO, but the general public is blind to this. Even though most people simply don’t care about their longevity, those who do should have the ability to fairly assess what they buy and eat. If a company doesn’t care about my health, I don’t care about them.
By the way, I sent an email directly to Odwalla expressing these very thoughts, and will be posting their reply as soon as I receive it (if they send one). If you wish to discuss this with the formerly health-oriented company, the email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a short article on point, and why I no longer will buy any Odwalla product:
In 2013, Coca-Cola secretly funneled more than $1.5 million dollars through the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) in order to block an initiative that would have required the labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
After the Washington State attorney general’s office threatened a lawsuit against GMA, the organization disclosed their financial backers, which included Coca-Cola.
In 2014, Coca-Cola contributed $2 million dollars to the opposition in Oregon and Colorado’s 2014 labeling initiative.
In addition to its soft drinks, the company owns many brands marketed as healthier alternatives, including Honest Tea, Zico Coconut Water, Odwalla, Zico, Vitamin Water, Simply Orange, and Powerade.
According to Bloomberg News, these Coca-Cola brands played a major role in a 13% increase in their fourth-quarter profits in 2012.
We have a unique opportunity to boycott the Coca-Cola brands being marketed as healthier alternatives until they pledge to cease any and all financial contributions to anti-GMO labeling efforts.
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