“Which one has the most plastic waste? Which one contains more palm oil? Which one is cheaper?” these were the thoughts that went through my head as I looked at the supermarket shelve.
In one hand I held a family owned chocolate paste and in the other I held a similar product owned by Nestle.
And which one did I go for you ask? The Nestle product, the one with the most plastic casing, with the most palm oil, and the cheapest.
I found myself thinking what is to stop me from doing this again and again?
How are we supposed to stop these corporations from exploiting us if we keep doing what they want us to?
We all now know thejungles of Indonesia and Malaysia have been destroyed by the need for palm oil for our favorite household items, that the small farmer is being moved off his land, that the cocoa that goes into the paste is genetically modified and the seed from which it was planted probably has a patent on it.
As I spread my toast with the choc-paste, I wonder if there will ever be a point at which humans will stop supporting these corporations.
Mega corporations such as Nestle, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Kellogg’s, and Kraft, control the output of almost everything we buy; from Mr Muscle table cleaning to Cadbury Chocolate to our beloved Diesel jeans.
Nestle is a $200 billion-corporation – one of the biggest companies in the world – and it ain’t just about chocolate. It owns nearly 8,000 different brands worldwide.
And if you use store bought soap, well, chances are you use Unilever. A company that serves 2 billion people around the world, controlling a network that produces everything from Q-tips to Skippy peanut butter.
Sure you’ve got your fair-trade brands and your local produce, you’ve got your designer brands and your more expensive organics, but why is it we sometimes trust those less or choose not to buy them? Despite a big array of other choices, or rather the illusion of wide array of choice, it always comes back to the big guys.
Now I looked down at the choc-paste on the toast I was eating, disappointed in myself, angry even, that I had bought the Nestle product. Again I’d fallen for the big brands, and it didn’t even taste that good. I picked up the choc-paste jar, along with my now unappealing piece of toast, and chucked both in the bin.
It was and IS possible to start disengaging from these corporations. I just had to make the choice, make the first move, and start the change.
Start simply. Grow your own food and buy more local produce. It may be a little extra effort but WE, YOU, I, get the reward; not the big greedy corporations who were only rewarding themselves.
I may only be that one person making that choice for change of product in the supermarket, but we all have to start somewhere.