The food industry hasn’t missed the fact that many people are hopping on the green bandwagon. But how can you tell the difference between true sustainability and marketing baloney? Anna Lappe lists the five least green claims in her book Diet for a Hot Planet, excerpted by Salon:
- Sara Lee: Eco-Grain wheat made its debut in the company’s EarthGrains bread, and allegedly will “save the earth, one field at a time.” But Eco-Grain is just one-fifth of a loaf’s total grain—and Sara Lee paid a settlement in 2003 after charges that EarthGrains plants produced nasty chemicals.
- Fiji Water: The company said it would go “carbon negative,” offsetting 120% of its emissions through renewable energy projects and other means—but those carbon credits will occur sometime in the next few decades, as opposed to, you know, the near future.
- McDonald’s: Promised to “inspire and empower children to make a difference” for endangered species with an endangered animals-themed Happy Meal, all the while threatening the habitat on which these very same animals depend.
- Monsanto: The largest maker of genetically modified crops in the world promised to “develop seeds that significantly increase crop yields” and feed the world. But scientists doubt drought resistance can be engineered, and genetically modified crops carry many negative consequences.
- Syngenta: The world’s largest agrochemical company claims its partnership with Ducks Unlimited proves its commitment to sustainable agriculture, but the way Syngenta supports the wildlife-protecting organization is by donating chemical products—and some of its products damage waterways.