According to Raj Patel in his book "Stuffed and Starved" chapter entitled "The Customer is Our Enemy" large corporations are striving to monopolize their markets to eliminate competition, reduce their obligations in research and development, control the communities providing product for them and maximize profits. They claim that their growth and mergers will create more strength and resources to provide lower costs and better products, but history has proved the opposite. With the largest seed and pharmaceuticals companies, for example, merging at this very moment, this only means one thing to many of us.....dread.
As Patel outlines in the evidence of the United Fruit Company (now Chiquita banana) case, entire wars are being fought and lost by hundreds of thousands of people in the countries of cultivation and it is hidden to consumers. This is truly terrifying. My family nearly exclusively ate those bananas daily for two decades. It is horrifying to imagine the contribution we unknowingly made to this hidden war.
Now that I am older however, I am far more conscious of the companies I endorse in order to put food on the table. But what is difficult about moving forward, is no matter how hard I try to purchase responsible and sustainable products, I fear I am no match to the powerful corporations who consider me the enemy and will employ their strongest resources to put their bottom line first.