Thursday, January 22, 2009

Corporate Effects of Peanut Butter Recall, General Mills Owns The World!

When I watch the 10pm evening news, I'm not paying full attention. Honestly my iPhone is usually in one hand and I am listening to the news, multi-tasking folding laundry, paying bills. I overhear mention of a Peanut Butter recall linked with salmonella. Eew. Then they say it's just affecting 5 pound tubs of peanut butter. My mind is prematurely eased, as in the next few days a wealth of information begins to unfold.

I start to learn more and more about the products I consume. Then I feel disappointed in what I come to learn about the companies I choose to support.

Voluntary recalls begin popping up in the media and on twitter via Whole Foods tweets. First thing I hear is LARA Bar new flavor peanut butter cookie has been recalled.I know my husband is a huge LARA consumer, so I immediately call him. Yes, as I predicted he ate a bar the day before the recall, a peanut butter cookie bar. He was excited by the new flavor. Yikes. Three days have passed and he didn't fall ill. Yeah!

But then I begin thinking wow, that's rather odd, LARA is a small Denver based company that makes really fabulous products. Why would they be affected by this institutional sub-par peanut butter recall?

Turns out, LARA changed hands last year, guess who owns them now? GENERAL MILLS. My stomach turned. Bummer.

Then I read a Rocky Mountain News article about the acquisition, turns out General Mills owns many organic companies. General Mills owns Cascadian Farms (no surprise to me) and Muir Glen. Oh and just to throw it in there, Hamburger Helper and Cheerios.

They all seem to have the same vision right, top of the line 5 ingredient healthy fruit and nut bars and Hamburger Helper. Seems like a match made in heaven.

Now, let me say, I don't want to judge the choice to sell your company. Larabar was started in a kitchen, it grew so big that General Mills acquired it. Must be fabulous to still have a hand in the company and feel the success.

Only problem is all I can think is Hamburger Helper.

Back to the recall, other bars affected by the voluntary recall are:

Clif Bars, Clif Builder's Bar, Clif Kid ZBaR, Health Valley Organic Peanut Crunch Chewy Granola Bars, JamFrakas, LARABar, Luna Bars, MOJO Bar, Nature's Path Optimum Energy Bars.

Take a good look at that list. Take a good look at your grocery receipt. I consider PCA- Peanut Corporation of America to be a supplier of institutional peanut butter, not peanut butter for companies I support. Quite honestly, companies I pay top dollar for because I assume they aren't getting their peanut butter from the source that Little Debbie does.

I've been fooled. But trust me, I am not going to support these companies anymore. I am doing my homework. If I am going to pay top dollar for these products, I want to know that I am getting highest quality ingredients.

Time to start making my own bars. Ha!

Searchable database of all recalled Peanut Butter Products!

15 comments:

  1. My nephew is violently allergic to peanuts. This recall was the first time I envied my brother...no sweat, none of that stuff in his house.

    I do have to say, though, that we have been talking for a while about making our own bars (a la Alton Brown). Sounds like an even better idea now.

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  2. It is stuff like this that makes me so happy that we have decided to make healthy changes in our lives. Luckily...I didn't have any of those products. But it really makes you wonder where your food is coming from.

    Makes me what to turn my backyard into a garden....

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  3. As I was reading your post, I was thinking to myself (make my own bars). So glad to see you stated that! :) I find myself staying away from man made foods more and more these days. I even made my own tortilla chips the other day (baked) because I wanted to use what I have, save money, do it myself. If you find a great recipe for protein bars, please share!! You always have great recipes to share :)

    I also made my own pizza dough today because I know what's in it. Getting to be a fanatic in my old age - LOL!

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  4. I love how dog treats have been recalled too, larabars on par with dog treats. Ugh!

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  5. Great post! If you find a great bar recipe, please share!

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  6. Great post! If you find a great bar recipe, please share!

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  7. Damn damn damn.

    I hate when this happens. I was especially bummed about Cascadian Farms because it was a Washington State company. I'm with you on Yay for achieving big notoriety from grassroots beginnings, but compromising quality? Nah.

    Please, if you would, post some of your homework finds? :D

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  8. Yup, yup... although I have to admit I'm too lazy to "do my homework" and end just making stuff myself as much as possible. Strangely enough, I had just made peanut butter for the very first time the day before I heard about the recall.

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  9. we've been getting the clif kids bars--so far we haven't gotten sick. it is incredibly frustrating how much research you have to do to know your dollars are being well spent!

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  10. That is how I felt when I found Chipolte was owned by McDonalds!

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  11. That's scary. You know that just about everything can be traced to 5 major companies? (at least I think it's 5...my roomie in college was a comm major, LOVED this sort of stuff)

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  12. So is the Cliff Bar & Luna Bar company also owned by someone big? I was surprised they were involved, too.

    I had no idea they'd sold to General Mills. It certainly makes more sense now that they'd be using that same supplier.

    It's too bad because I loved Lara Bars, especially the peanut butter ones!

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  13. ugh, we haven't bought any bars for a while, but when we do, my girls like the Cliff Zbars and they seem to have the most simple/pure ingredient list. We'll be trying your granola bar recipe soon I guess.

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  14. When i heard about it i thought scary stuff everyone eats it. I heard costco called all customers who bought from them too.

    My only saving grace for our household anyway is we hardly eat anything peanut butter.

    Can't believe they are owned by general mills (mumble mumble)

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  15. Now there are all these "independent" cool, edgy retail stores popping up in Manhattan and Brooklyn that are really owned by corporate giants.

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