March 17, 2008 —
Clorox's recent acquisition of Burt's Bees and L'Oreal's purchase of The Body Shop several years ago, brought into focus the difficulty consumers face in determining who's really behind their favorite products. The latest issue of GOOD Magazine features a diagram of a few dozen top American natural foods brands and the corporations that own them. Many of the names on the list will probably surprise you.
Of course, corporate ownership doesn't necessarily mean that a company's operations change drastically, or that an ethical brand automatically becomes unethical because it's owned by Kraft. If a product comes with organic certification or adheres to some other ethical standard that you feel is important, buying that brand is still probably an improvement over what sits next to it on the shelf.
Amy's Kitchen is one brand that isn't on the list at all — it's still family owned and operated.