Mean Girl to the Rescue!

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am busily cooking today, although we'll be trekking out to the far 'burbs to see my family tomorrow. My mother's birthday invariably falls during Thanksgiving week, and she holds no quarter for those of her children who are not found in attendance on Thanksgiving Day to pay her the tribute she is due -- in person, if you please.

A friend of mine once said that my mother could have a rabid gay following if she were famous, and I think that this imperious behavior of hers only serves to underline that notion. She has quite the Joan Crawford streak.

Anyhoo, I managed to make a green bean casserole without using French's onions (tools of the trans-fat devil, and owned by corporate giant Reckitt Benckiser) and Campbell's soup, instead using Trader Joe's fried onions with no trans fat (I love you, Trader Joe's) and Health Valley cream of celery soup (I don't go in for mushrooms. Or GMOs).

I'm also making pigs in a blanket, because it's the only appetizer anyone ever has interest in at these family shindigs, aside from shrimp. I used to make all kinds of elaborate finger food that only my sisters and I would eat, while all the men in the family demolished the pigs, upbraiding me for not having made more once they ran out. So now I just make those (although this year, they're getting nice kosher turkey franks inside -- shhh!). I'm toying with the idea of making hummus, because who doesn't love hummus? And I have those cute little mini-pitas for dipping. Plus, it's so easy: dump a can of chickpeas into the blender, stir in some tahini and garlic, and off you go!

Finally, I am taking Izzy's advice and making pumpkin chocolate cheesecake. My one sister always makes homemade pies (including my Lithuanian grandmother's specialty, chocolate meringue; it is to die for), but they go fast, and a nice, rich cheesecake is just the thing for a post-Thanksgiving breakfast, don't you think?

Since I was thinking about which corporate giants owned which little organic companies this week, I was pleased to see a list from Seventh Generation detailing this info. Has anyone else noticed that it can be downright impossible to find who the parent company is on packages from, say, Cascadian Farms (owned by General Mills) or Back to Nature (owned by Kraft/Philip Morris)? I think they don't want us to know.

For any curious folk reading, here is the list:

• 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 are 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 Danone
• 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


At 4:31 PM, Anonymous wordgirl said...

Dang, woman! You've done quite a bit of research on those food companies. I'm just looking to make a nice loaf of bread to take to the in-laws' house and call it a day. Hope your day is a happy one.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Arabella said...

I covet your green bean casserole. And that cheesecake sounds DELICIOUS. Not to mention the chocolate meringue pie. Happy Turkey Day!

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Blondie said...

I love green bean casserole. I made a huge vat of it and pigged out! :)

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous Rhea said...

Wow, thanks for that list of corporate owners of natural foods makers. I guess I was naive enough to think that these companies were independent.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Tits McGee said...

Well, shit! Who the heck am I supposed to buy my food from, now that my local farmer's market has closed up shop for the winter?!

Thank you for this list, and thank you for your blog, and Happy Thanksgiving, dear Mrs. Harridan. My best to you & yours (especially that wee one of yours)!

At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Izzy said...

Some of those corporate owners are really surprising. Like Colgate owns my beloved Toms of Maine? And ConAgra owns LightLife? Ick! I knew about Back to Nature because I have a friend that works for Kraft. Have you noticed that a lot of their packaging used to say "Organic" and now it doesn't?

Hope the cheesecake turned out well!

At 8:00 PM, Blogger Katherine said...

Oh, it all sounds great! I so love Trader Joe's and hummus! I make homemade hummus in my food processor all the time. I like to add roasted red peppers, too.

At 1:34 AM, Blogger Naynayfazz said...

It is ironic that Colgate owns Toms of Maine because when I used to be really into animal rights, I remember Colgate being heavily into animal testing.

I work at Whole Foods Market and I know many of those brands but had NO IDEA they were owned by corporate giants. As usual, money talks and bullshit walks.



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