Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Feeding the Sheeple

Most people don't realize that when they walk into a Western grocery store here in Feedlot USA, and behold what appears to be hundreds of thousands of various food products, is that the majority of these brands are all either produced directly by, or are subsidiaries of, a handful of multi-national corporations responsible for the production and distribution of these products.

The Vigilant Citizen gives us the goodies on the realities of 21st century, sheeple-feed system, in the article: Irrational Consumerism (or The Few Companies Who Feed the World

If one were to carefully study the labels on packaged products in an average grocery store, one would probably notice that the same company names appear repeatedly: Nestlé, Kraft, General Mills and a few others. Many brands offering good ol’ fashioned homemade or all-natural/organic foods are nothing more than subsidiaries of these few world-wide mega-companies. The major difference between the main brand and the subsidiaries is packaging and advertising, which are targeted to reach different markets. In order to preserve the carefully crafted image surrounding a product, connections to the mother company are often conveniently hidden.

Which is why it is best to limit your consumption of any food products that require labels and ingredient listings.

The processed-food industry can be considered a true oligopoly. Together, the three leading food companies, Nestle, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo, achieve a dominant proportion of global processed-food sales. In fact, these three companies are often used as an example of “Rule of Three” in business schools, since they are a real-life example of a market being dominated by three gigantic actors. Their position as worldwide food providers has made these conglomerates extremely powerful, and they are represented in most elite organizations such as the Council of Foreign Relations. This not only allows them to provide their preferred policies on nutrition and health issues across the globe, but on economic, political and social issues as well. Such prominence also allows these companies to ensure their continued market dominance, through policy-making, access to insider information and the intimidation of potential competitors.

This is the truth behind the endless promotion of various lies about diet, nutrition and degenerative diseases that result from a lifetime of consuming these corporation's feed products. This is where you can directly place the blame for the financing of studies and research that end up supporting organizations like the American Diabetes Association that encourage diabetics to "switch to healthy whole grain" products, when the truth is many diabetics would realize a complete reversal of their condition if they were to just cut out all grain based foods and beverages and stick to a diet of plenty fresh meat, dairy (if not lactose intolerant), vegetables and a moderate amount of fruit.

But such a diet cannot be mass produced in a centralized facility, stored, shipped and sold world wide for massive profits.

But it's not just the products that are developed manufactured and distributed by the "big 3" feed processors. Any small time producer of a genuine, food related product, will often be bought out by one of the big feed processors to ensure that no product will challenge market domination by offering a superior product.

As Vigilant Citizen notes:

Today, if a small food company were to create a new revolutionary product, it would find it difficult to obtain distribution without giving up its rights to one these conglomerates. In addition to dominating the shelves, the Big Three control most of the worldwide channels of distribution, to the point that up-and-coming companies cannot reach the consumers without dealing with them. The only way small business owners can avoid years of struggle and rejection to obtain shelf-space in supermarkets is to strike a licensing deal with one of the giants, where the owner cedes the ownership and the rights to the product in exchange for royalty checks (which are usually a small percentage of the sales). Each licensing deal consolidates these companies’ position and eliminates threats from any potential competitor who creates game-changing products.

What VC didn't mention here, is that oftentimes when a small business owner sells their recipe and brand to one of these feed manufacturers, the feed company will than re-engineer the original recipe so as to allow them to substitute originally wholesome, real food based ingredients with the industrially manufactured, additives, sweeteners, fillers and fats that are more profitable, addictive, health destroying and ensure longer shelf life while attempting to retain the flavor, color and texture of the original recipe.

After covering the virtual oligopoly of the feed manufacturers in the global food supply, he than gives a quick rundown of the "big three" and offers an extensive list of the various feed product brands they own. Have a look at that list. You want to lose weight, regain health and vitality? Take every single feed item listed by VC here out of your diet, and it's not preposterous to say you're well on your way.

VC than moves on to the even more pernicious practice of marketing the feed to we the sheeple. order to keep consumers coming back to their specific brand, corporations invest billions of dollars in the second secret of success: “brand loyalty” achieved through marketing and advertising.

Irrational Advertisement

While the ultimate goal of an advertisement is to sell a product, PR firms will tell you that they are seeking to go way beyond the cheap sell. Their mission is to create an emotional attachment to a product, a concept that is totally irrational, yet extremely effective. They don’t just want you to like their product, they want you to identify with it. They want you to define yourself by it. They are looking to create loyal, life-long customers by creating an image, a lifestyle and even a philosophy around a product.

As anyone who watches even a few hours of tv a week, the primary target of these emotionally manipulative tactics in advertisements is women. More specifically mothers:

For marketers, mothers are a dream. They have an enormous weak spot: children, especially their own. This love for kids is not rational: the maternal instinct is one of humanity’s most primal and hormonal reflexes. To tap into it is to directly tap into a mother’s internal hard-wiring. Through the use of research and focus groups, advertisers have learned the most effective ways to get reactions out of mothers, and create targeted ads that make mother’s feel worried, moved, scared, angry or unsettled. Once the target is in the intended emotional state, the product is presented as the answer to everything.

Pay attention next time you see any advertisement on the boobtube idiotbox targeted to mothers. They almost always are based on this dynamic of playing on a mother's fears, anxieties and worries. Once you recognize the pattern, you will see it in almost every single advertisement aimed at mothers.

VC concludes this excellent piece (you really should follow the link and read the whole thing...):

Why should one care about which company sells which product? Primarily, it is a question of health. Almost all of the hundreds of products cited in this article contain toxic ingredients, from excessive amounts of saturated fat to additives like MSG, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), mercury and/or aspartame.

Here's were I must interject with my one disagreement with VC's article: saturated fats are not toxic ingredients. Industrially manufactured Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid rich vegetable oils and hydrogenated fats are the ubiquitous, toxic poison of choice for the feed manufacturers. They are cheaper to use, and extend the shelf life of the feed products...many of them, to the point of indefinite resistance to spoilage. (Their shit is so toxic, not even bacteria and molds wants to eat it).

These substances, and many more like them, are poisonous to the body, the nervous system and the brain (as discussed in the article Dumbing Down Society: Food, Beverages and Meds). Processed foods are making the entire world fatter, sicker and dumber, even though only a few companies produce them. It is vital to know and recognize them … so you can avoid them. It is also important to recognize the basic marketing tactics that are being used to push consumers to buy processed foods.


VC finishes with a bang:

The issue is much larger than individual health, however. To be aware of the companies selling your food is to be aware of important actors of the world elite. As the saying goes “control the food and you control the people”. If you believe it is important to know the truth about the world’s power structure, it is fundamental to know about these companies and understand their extensive reach throughout all areas of our global society. They might “only” sell food, but their power and position gives these conglomerates an active role in world governance, including economy, politics, law-making and even the military (who do you think supplies military mess halls?). The Big Three and globally dominant corporations like them are part of policy-setting “think tank” organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group, which serve as the true motors behind global change. Should PepsiCo have a say in the invasion of a country such as Iran? Well, it does. And every time you buy a Pepsi or a bag of Doritos or jug of Tropicana, you are helping them become richer and more powerful. Luckily, however, there is an easy way to stop supporting these companies: Simply replace the processed products you buy from these companies with fresh foods bought from local businesses. You’ll improve your health and your local economy, but most importantly, you’ll also become the elite’s worst nightmare: a rational consumer.

1 comment:

*** ******** said...

Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" and his later "The Brass Check" are two of the most relevant works in not trusting the system and educating yourself about power/control/consumption of food and press that have ever been published.

I cannot, cannot, cannot recommend them enough. you will truly open your eyes and look at the world differently after reading each.

for a shortened version on food, watch Food, Inc. or the French documentary on Monsanto.