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how and why you should avoid the big 10 food companies http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/01/avoiding-food-giants.html
So about a year ago Joe and I began to get increasingly pissed off reading about large companies buying up smaller companies and essentially this leading to job losses. We then started to avoid Kraft now Mondelez. A short while after we made this decision I saw an infographic created by Oxfam that started to pop up referring to The Big 10 I chatted with this to Joe that evening and we decided that we were going to avoid the big 10.
Initially we looked at one another and thought wow well we have decided to do this it is going to be tough and we sat to study the infographic more closely to see what we would be cutting out of our diet – the answer was not very much. One of the most obvious things when you look at this is that most of the food these companies are producing is overly processed crap – and no I am not pulling any punches today. With the odd exception they are feeding you nothing but junk.
When we really looked we realised the only things we would miss were San Pelligrino, and I know that makes me sound like such a middle class wanker, and Marmite, (that is me not Joe). So there are other carbonated waters we can have and I am switching to Vegemite. With the exception of one Kelloggs product that Sebastian likes we are free of the big 10.
So why the exception with Kelloggs products, we feel that Sebastian only ever asks for the “mini cereal boxes” about 3 times in a year and he is allowed to have something kiddie and cute in his life and as far as the larger companies go we would be happy to pop them on the list of okay by us but we just don’t eat their stuff ordinarily.
chickpeas how and why you should avoid the big 10 food companies http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/01/avoiding-food-giants.html
We have decided not be ‘those’ house guests. We have made a choice as consumers but turning up to other peoples homes and refusing half of what they offer you is just rude in our opinion so you can still invite us over.

So why avoid them?

  • Large companies buy out the competition which is not great for the consumer
  • They promise that there will not be job loses but after a buy out there always is
  • Huge conglomerates have to line the pockets of many many shareholders and this means that costs have to be cut somewhere often in food quality, job loses and workers rights.
  • Many of these companies have huge human and environmental infractions such as Nestle & Coca Cola, a quick search on Google will highlight these
  • Most of these companies sell overly processed food and I prefer to know exactly what my family is eating
  • Cutting out these foods will save you money in the long run
The fact is both Joe and I are not against big companies per sa and there are many industries where “the big boys” are the only ones with the requisite funds to plough into research and development such as energy. We also know that there are other evil if you want to choose a word, companies out there that are not food companies. Well yes we know that and we avoid other companies such as Apple and buy cruelty free everything but again that is our personal choice.
homemade pizza how and why you should avoid the big 10 food companies http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/01/avoiding-food-giants.html

How do we avoid them?

  • Buy ingredients and not convenience foods
  • Buy local produce as much as possible
  • Look at alternative snacks such as keeping popcorn kernels in
  • Snack less, (this is something living in Paris taught me) we snack less so when we do we can afford more expensive crisps and biscuits from smaller local producers
  • We are all busy so look into batch cooking to combat the loss in pre prepared foods you may have bought
  • Check online to see who the parent company is – you will be really surprised
I am going to update my archive pages to include a freeze ahead section so that you can easily find some great recipes. I will be adding more to this as time goes on also.
green beans how and why you should avoid the big 10 food companies http://www.archieandtherug.com/2018/01/avoiding-food-giants.html
This is not the normal post from me but this issue is one we both feel strongly about on the grounds of our family’s health and our socialist moral compass, we are big on workers rights and job losses in this house!

If you have any comments on this I am eager to hear them and if you agree, disagree or just think we have gone a bit woo woo here I am also eager not to exist in an echo chamber. If you are an independent food producer with a great moral code get in touch as I will be putting together a directory over the coming year. You do not have to be a super healthy organic producer just have ethics we can get behind and not be planning to sell out to one of the big 10.

January 29, 2018



  1. Reply

    Karine Candice Kong I BODIE and FOU

    January 12, 2018

    This is music to my ears. These days I hardly buy manufactured food and buy wholefoods and organic fruits & vege from small producers. I didn't stop for the same reasons than yours. I stopped because all this packaged food is filled with too much sugar that keeps us addicted, overweight & sick but the end result is the same. Shame Innocents Drinks was bought by Coca-Cola, it was a great company to start with


  2. Reply

    Bec Oakes

    January 12, 2018

    This is such an interesting post! I've definitely been guilty of buying from some of the 'big' companies but watched a documentary quite recently about how these branded products are quite often the highest in sugars and salt and try my hardest to buy the products with the best nutritional value regardless of whether they are branded or not

    Bec | https://girlofnow.blog

  3. Reply

    Mumma and the Bears

    January 14, 2018

    My partner and I talk about food a lot and we do our best not to buy processed foods but more from a health stand point. I would love to support more smaller businesses and buy more local produce etc I do agree with your points too and supporting workers rights. I'm not a fan of these companies trying to appear more family orientated and wholesome buy buying up smaller companies as a front to seem that way.

  4. Reply

    Nicolette Lafonseca-Hargreaves

    January 15, 2018

    I agree completely we have also noticed that we have managed to reduce the amount of plastics and packaging in general. It is odd as I feel as people are becoming more food aware these big companies keep buying up smaller companies in a bid to buy themselves a good reputation so the biggest issue I have is checking online that they are still independent

  5. Reply

    Nicolette Lafonseca-Hargreaves

    January 15, 2018

    Thank you I feel that people are becoming aware as consumers for so many reasons from human rights to environmental factors and personal health larger companies need to recognise this shift and amend their practices and we need to keep exercising our powers as consumers they don't exist without customers

  6. Reply

    Nicolette Lafonseca-Hargreaves

    January 15, 2018

    Oh I totally think they are trying to buy themselves an image and some wholesome press by simply buying it but it is backfiring. I have started emailing independent companies to applaud them and state why I shop with them in a hope that they don't get enveloped. My fear is being left with these giants.

    So much healthier not to have processed foods. When you look at health trends just in our own lifetime and how they correlate to eating habits it is pretty blatant that we need to change and get back to basics

  7. Reply

    Heather Hill

    February 1, 2018

    Great idea. I very rarely use processed foods and agree whole-heartedly with the plastics reduction too. My only issue is trying to shop local on a tight budget. Whenever I do the math the supermarket comes up cheaper. It makes it very difficult for families living on a low wage, and I know this means the supermarket wins but hard as I try, I can't make the money go further this way.

  8. Reply

    Nicolette Lafonseca-Hargreaves

    February 1, 2018

    I completely agree I use Tesco and Lidl all the time our budget has reduced since avoiding big food producers as we are buying ingredients as opposed to finished products. Stuff like Tesco own pasta, flour, egg noodles all have a place here and offer an alternative to US mega corps

  9. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    February 2, 2018

    Good on you for avoiding the larger companies, I do find that a lot of own price brands or more independent versions taste just as nice x

  10. Reply

    Melanie Williams

    February 2, 2018

    Loved reading this post! I could not agree more, I much prefer smaller retailers for all the reasons you mention x

  11. Reply

    Alison Rost

    February 2, 2018

    There are plenty of small companies these days that offer healthier alternatives compared to what these big companies offer. It would be so much better to support those instead!

  12. Reply

    THINK Mag

    February 2, 2018

    I agree. I batch cook on Sundays so I have breakfast and dinners for at least 3 days. I do buy locally at an amazing organic market who's prices are incredible. They do not accept credit cards, so they can keep their prices reasonable. I can't avoid the big box stores entirely, but I would say the bulk of my shopping is in local markets.

  13. Reply

    Joanna Davis

    February 2, 2018

    I don't really buy branded products so much. I like going to the food market in my town that takes place each weekend and buy fresh meat and vegetables that I know come from their own farms.

  14. Reply


    February 2, 2018

    I’m definitely guilty of buying convenience foods and snacking too much. I definitely need to start buying more ingredients to batch cook and plan ahead more so I don’t end up back in the big companies. I never thought about the impact on jobs and that side of stuff so it was really interesting to read your post on this

  15. Reply

    Leslie Hernandez

    February 7, 2018

    I need to start buying more organic things, specially because my health hasn't been all that great lately. I need to stop eating processed foods too and eat more healthier.

  16. Reply

    Deborah Nicholas

    February 7, 2018

    I love shopping at small independent stores and family run local shops. What an interesting read.

  17. Reply

    Chilling With Lucas

    February 7, 2018

    I always try to shop local and small when possible. I used to think it would cost a lot more, but I’m surprised at how affordable it can be and you know you are getting fresh local produce

  18. Reply

    Laura Ferry

    February 7, 2018

    Although I completely agree with you from an ethical point of view, the reason I tend to look at other options a lot is because of the processed foods. I'm dairy intolerant and the amount of processed foods that contain dairy is unreal!! xxx

  19. Reply

    Nichola - Globalmouse

    February 7, 2018

    What a brilliant idea. We are really cutting down on convenience foods wherever possible but I would love to take that even further and cut out some of the bigger companies like you have.

  20. Reply

    Éva Katona

    February 7, 2018

    Great post and fully agree with you. I buy almost nothing from these companies, although we use a lot of supermarket own branded products. San Pellegriono is a shame but Highlands has nice carbonated water and it. Ones in glass bottles!

  21. Reply

    Kara Guppy

    February 7, 2018

    I try and buy locally if at all possible but sometimes it is easier and more convenient to use the big companies

  22. Reply


    February 7, 2018

    I can be so hard to avoid them when companies seem to always be buying each other out. But we buy pretty much just ingredients, so it doesn’t affect us too much.

  23. Reply

    Emily Leary, A Mummy Too

    February 7, 2018

    I found buying local can be a little bit more of a chore but the produce is usually very, very good.

  24. Reply

    Lu Lovely

    February 7, 2018

    Middle class wanker 😂😂
    I support my local farm shop an awful lot so it's easier to avoid massive companies that way. Unilever seem to have their fingers in all the pies!
    Also, big brand SC Johnson has just bought out my two haven't ethical cleaning brands. Boooo.

  25. Reply


    February 7, 2018

    I think shopping local is so incredibly important. Most of what we eat comes from our own tiny island, but we do enjoy the odd treat every now and again.

  26. Reply

    The Daisy Pages

    February 7, 2018

    Really enjoyed reading this and checking out the link to the Oxfam page. I'm so pleased that you are highlighting these issues – I have to admit that I didn't know the monopoly was so huge. You've really made me think and I'm going to read more on this. Thank you x

  27. Reply

    Angela Bethea

    February 7, 2018

    Wow, this is really an interesting view about these companies. I totally agree that there's nothing wrong on checking the one who makes or process your food. Whenever I'm in my hometown, I prefer to buy fresh meat and veggies at our local supermarket.

  28. Reply

    Charli B

    February 7, 2018

    We hardly ever buy anything that's a convenience food, we always buy fresh ingredients and often buy from the butchers and market for the bulk of our shop and then buy mini snacks from the supermarket. This way we have reduced our spend and are keeping local businesses in trade x

  29. Reply

    Kacie Morgan

    February 7, 2018

    It’s often shocking to hear about the ethics behind some of these big household brands! I like to shop locally whenever I can.

  30. Reply

    Kirsty Ralph

    February 7, 2018

    This has given me much food for thought (excuse the pun) but I never really knew the impact on the bigger companies buying little ones (forgive the lack of knowledge) we changed supermarkets last year and tend to buy a lot more 'own brands' now. I do try and cook most of our meals from scratch and menu plan to help on waste but I will be looking at what we are buying and seeing if we can do more to avoid bigger companies.