Our family has recently marked the beginning of our journey participating in the Nestlé boycott. I won't re-write the posts that have inspired me with information, but I will cover some highlights. For the entire article, please visit PhD in Parenting here. Author Annie pointed out the following issues with Nestlé and their practices:
- Controlling and abusing water sources
- Purchasing from suppliers who utilize child slaves
- Anti-union/anti-collective bargaining behavior
- Advertising formula in a harmful and misleading way (especially in emerging countries where clean water isn't available, see video below explained by brilliant mom blogger Jessica Gottlieb. Yes, she's in her pajamas. Mom bloggers rule!)
Then the information was in my face again, and this time, I couldn't deny how much it bothered me. So, Brandon and I watched the video, discussed the facts from PhD in Parenting as well as over at Crunchy Domestic Goddess. I asked Brandon if he thought it would be crazy to boycott...could we do it? He immediately responded, "No, we can do it." I am so glad to have him, someone who is also concerned with social issues, such as the ones involved with Nestlé's unethical and damaging choices.
Did I go and throw out all the Nestlé products we still have in our house? No. That won't impact them, only me. They already have my dollars. So, we're using what is left and moving forward.
In case you didn't know, Nestlé owns Gerber. In case you hadn't read before, I've been boycotting Gerber since Ayla was maybe 5 months old. You see, I purchased some baby food for Ayla, which was Gerber of course. Much to my dismay, their product was packed in #7 plastic. They defend their position and explain it on their website, but I believe in the dangers of using bad plastic. #7 plastic is the hot dog of plastics, meaning everything gets dumped into #7. It is bad news. So...I am not buying what Gerber is selling. I'm not going to buy into the fact that "trace amounts of BPA aren't harmful." When you add a little BPA exposure to a little more, it all adds up.
Boycotting Gerber hasn't been hard at all. I will admit, I have not been perfect in this process. For example, the Oster blender I use to make her food has a blending cup component that is made with #7 plastic. The good news is, the food I blended didn't stay in the cup, therefore I avoided the whole issue of the plastic leaching into the food. Like I said, I haven't been perfect. But I'm not going to buy food that has been sitting in #7 plastic for months or even years on end (have you seen the shelf life on baby food)? In addition to making baby food, I bought Earth's Best, which is awesome baby food and comparable in price. You know what? I'd buy Beech Nut (a cheaper baby food) over Gerber because at least their food is packaged in glass.
Sidenote: For anyone concerned with BPA, you may want to stop buying canned coke products because they voted to continue using BPA in their cans. Additionally, BPA is found in most canned products, which you can read more about over at OrganicGrace. (That is my next goal...to eliminate most canned products or switch to the few brands-such as Eden-that pledge not to use BPA in their cans). Also, don't hold onto your receipts longer than necessary-they also contain BPA.
Anyway...let's get back to the boycott.
The truth it, the boycott won't be hard, but there are definitely some changes we'll be making. Here are some of the products we've been using/consuming that we won't be any longer:
- Lean Cuisine & Lean pockets (some of my staple go-to quick lunches)
- Libby's pumpkin. SAD about this one!
- Edy's & Skinny Cow ice cream
- Purina dog & cat food
- Juicy Juice (yes, I know...it isn't good. Babies/toddlers shouldn't have much juice. I'm a rule breaker on this one)
- Carnation instant breakfast (quick breakfast during the school year)
- Nestlé Good Start water
- San Pellegrino
- L’Oreal, Maybelline, & Garnier products
- Kit Kats
- Nestlé Tollhouse
- Maggi seasonings
To read more about some of the many issues with Nestlé, check out this source, which I will now be going to read (as if I needed more convincing of the evils of Nestlé).
I can't worry about everything, and I can't control everything. However, I do worry about these kind of practices because I feel that we are all connected. As a consumer on my own, I may not make a difference, but when joining in with the MANY others who have been part of the boycott for the last THIRTY years, perhaps change can come. I CAN control how I vote with my dollars. I want to be socially and ethically responsible and teach these values to my daughter.