Back to Back Issues Page
Better Choices , August 2007 -- So Many Choices For Natural Living
August 22, 2007

Making A Natural Choice


What's In This Issue:

  • Find out Who Owns Your Favorite Natural Products Company.
  • Environmentally Friendly Choices For Back To School.
  • Save Some Money. Easy To Make Sugar Scrub
  • What's New On NLW.
  • Drawing Winner.





  • Do You Know Who Owns Your Natural Food Company?

    I've been shopping for natural items for a long time and for the most part I've been buying from small companies with environmental and ethical values. I liked what they stood for, how they did business and I liked that they were small companies not large corporations.

    But things are changing. It's easy to see that natural, organic and environmentally friendly products are starting to mean big business. So it was inevitable that big corporations were going to want a part in this.

    It's not necessarily a bad thing. For a small company bought by a large corporation, it provides access to many resources that can help it grow and help organic and natural products find a more mainstream appeal and it may even mean lower prices. That could be good for the whole industry. I'd like to see natural and organic to just be the way things are done.

    But I wonder if the small company will be able to maintain it's values unchecked by their new owner. I can only hope that some of my favorite companies will be able to carry on as before.

    I'd like to try and keep track of who owns what but that's not easy.

    That's why I'm glad I found this list on Seventh Generation's website. I was quite surprised by several items on this list.

    Boca Burgers owned by Philip Morris? That one surprised me.

    If your favorite company has been bought out by a large corporation that you don't want to support at least you can make an informed decision.

    Things change so there may have been some changes in ownership since this list was first published.

    Who really owns those "NATURAL" food companies?

    • Adams Baking is owned by Charter Baking Co.
    • After the Fall is owned by Smuckers.
    • Arrowhead Mills is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Back to Nature is owned by Kraft, which is owned by Philip Morris.
    • Ben & Jerry's is owned by Unilever.
    • Boca Burgers is owned by Kraft Foods which is owned by Philip Morris.
    • Burt’s Bees is owned by AEA Investors.
    • Cascadian Farms is owned by Small Planet Foods, which is owned by General Mills.
    • Celestial Seasonings is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
    • DeBoles is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Earth's Best is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Garden of Eatin' is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Health Valley is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Horizon Organic is owned by Dean Foods.
    • Jason's Natural Cosmetics is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Kashi is owned by Kellogg.
    • Lightlife (purveyors of Gimme Lean, Smart Dogs, Foney Boloney, and Smart Deli Slices) is owned by ConAgra.
    • Morningstar Farms is owned by Kellogg.
    • Mountain Sun is owned by Walnut Acres, which is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Muir Glen is owned by Small Planet Foods, which is owned by General Mills.
    • Nantucket Nectars is owned by Cadbury Schweppes.
    • Nile Spice is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Odwalla Juice is owned by Coca-Cola.
    • Organic Cow of Vermont is owned by Horizon, which is owned by Dean Foods.
    • Rudy’s Organic Bakery is owned by Charter Baking Co.
    • R.W. Knudsen is owned by Smuckers.
    • Imagine Foods (Rice Dream) is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Santa Cruz Organics is owned by Smuckers.
    • Seeds of Change is owned by M&M Mars Candy.
    • Simply Asian is owned by McCormack & Co.
    • Spectrum Organics is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Stonyfield Farm is owned by Dannon.
    • Terra Chips is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group>
    • Thai Kitchen is owned by McCormack & Co.
    • Tom's of Maine is owned by Colgate.
    • Tostitas Organic is owned by Pepsi.
    • The Vermont Bread Company is owned by Charter Baking Co.
    • Walnut Acres is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Westbrae Natural is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • Westsoy is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group.
    • White Wave (makers of Silk Soy Milk) is owned Dean Foods.
    • Worthington Foods is owned by Kellogg.
    • Yves Veggie Cuisine is owned by Hain Celestial Food Group.





    Eco Choices For Back To School

    Any time there is shopping to do is the perfect time to consider making some eco friendly choices.

    Thinking about a new laptop or desktop computer but don't know which ones are the most environmentally friendly. Check out the recommendations by EPEAT, an independant non profit organization that evaluates the environmental qualities of computers, laptops and monitors.

    You can check out their criteria and the brands they recommend on Buy.com.

    Laptop case.

    If budget allows what about a recycled laptop case. If you're going to be toting your laptop around this are almost a neccesity to protect your valuable equipment so buying a good one is important. The ones made from recycled materials may cost more but they are well made from recycled material and should last and and they look good too

    My favorite was of course the most expensive ($187) at Eco-Handbags Since these are made from reclaimed vinyl billboards each one is unique. Fully padded and ready to go with either hand carrying or with a detachable shoulder strap.

    There are some issues with vinyl use and it's certainly something to consider. I felt this was a better use of something that will most certainly end up in landfills. Sometimes it's so hard to know what is best.

    Rei carries the Alameda Computer Bag made by using scraps from footwear, recycled aluminum and polyester. Briefcase style handles in a padded case with extras to help you stay organized available in black or grey and red.

    Backpacks

    Backpacks take so much abuse. I've found it doesn't pay to buy cheap if I'm going to have to replace it before the year's out. But how about a backpack that's tough, weather resistant, looks good and is made from recycled car tires. These backpacks look like they will last.

    Abundant Earth carries these at a lower price than I have seen elsewhere.

    Lunch Sacks

    Create less trash from paper sacks. How about a lunch sack for the kids or maybe even yourself? Love Your Planet Lunch Sack is made from recycled plastic, an alternative to a vinyl lunch sack. Velcro closure, a shoulder strap and plenty of room make this sack a great choice. Available from Progressive Kids

    For more great ideas for totes and lunch sacks, check out Eco Bags.

    School Supplies

    With a little looking you should be able to find recycled paper and notebooks at local office supply stores. Check out Office Depot, Office Max and Staples. Try to buy the brands with the highest recycled content and to really save paper use both sides whenever possible and that goes for copy paper too.

    And if your looking to get rid of an old laptop or computer, Staples has begun a recycling program. For a small fee they will take your stuff and recycle it whether you bought it there or not. Not a bad deal.





    Make Your Own Sugar Scrub

    I spend quite a bit of time online looking at all the great organic and natural products and I see so many items I'd like to try particularly when it comes to skin care. You've seen the prices and my budget is uncooperative at times.

    So like most people I have to get creative and make something myself. Fortunately skin care products are one of the easiest to make and have some fun with.

    Sometimes a few simple ingredients from the grocery store is all you need.

    This recipe for a sugar scrub for the hands is easy and will help exfoliate your skin and make it easier for your skin to absorb moisture. You probably have the ingredients in your pantry right now. Try it and see what you think.

    Brown Sugar Scrub

    1 tbs. brown sugar (white sugar works OK, if you have the coarse variety even better)
    1 & 1/2 tsp.oil. I like olive or almond but any oil will do.
    1 vitamin E capsule, optional
    1-2 drops essential oil, also optional

    The molasses in the brown sugar contains plant acids that help exfoliate your skin.

    Mix all ingedredients. Rub the paste gently on wet hands and elbows. Rinse with warm water and dry gently. Your skin should feel smooth. I use a little moisturizer and I'm done.

    Do you have a favorite skincare recipe you'd like to share? Send it to me.

    We Had A Winner

    Congratulations to Daisy on winning a copy of the "Better World Handbook"

    The next drawing will be held on Sept 1 watch your e-mail for notification.

    New Additions to NLW Website

    I have made several additions to my site in the past month. Just click on the links in the text below and you will be taken to the right page.



  • A new section Make A Difference has been added. There are so many great organizations that need our support that I have a hard time narrowing down the choices and giving to the ones who will do the most good. This page will be an onging list of the groups I have found and how I evaluate them.

  • If you're stressed by the clutter around you, it's time to do something about it. Did you know that by using some simple feng shui techniques, very easy to learn and apply, you can eliminate the clutter from your lives. Check out Clear The Clutter.
  • Two new pages were added to help you be a natural beauty. While I'm now a big fan of mineral makeup, I know many women prefer a traditional foundation. I'll show you some brands of natural makeup I think you'll find are worth considering.

    The second page is for those of us who prefer to use vegan beauty products. (You'll notice I use the same model on both pages. I just thought she was the perfect natural beauty.) This is a head to toe list of products for your hair to your nails that don't contain animal ingredients.

  • I'd like to expand on my list of different ways to recycle our stuff so I gave it it's own page and will be adding to it in the coming months.
  • Monthly drawing

    As a subscriber to Better Choices you will be automatically entered into our monthly drawing. On the first of each month one of our subscribers will win a copy of "the Better World Shopping Guide".

    This handy pocket size book will help us socially and environmentally conscious shoppers make the best decisions.

    Products from audio equipment to wine have been rated for their effects on the environment, human rights, animal protection and more.

    I have found this very handy and I hope you will too.

    You will be notified by email so watch to see if you've won.

    Well, that's all for this month. Until next time. Have a great month.

    Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I won't know unless you tell me. I'd love to hear what you think. Just reply to this e-zine and let me know. If you like this e-zine and think a friend will too, do me a favor and pass it on.

    Back to Back Issues Page