Manufactured “Food”

The tracking process for General Mill’s brand of Nature Valley granola bars was, to say the least, very frustrating. I called twice and was put on hold for thirty minutes each time; when someone finally answered, I was unable to get specific answers out of them as to where or how the product was made and where the ingredients came from.

First of all, I was not surprised that a big corporation such as General Mills would practice some form of secrecy with their products; this is a constant trend with big corporations that own so much of their market. Complete transparency was definitely not expected. What was expected, however, was some type of lead regarding the origins of their ingredients, like a country or state. What I was given was, to be honest, nothing. It surprised me when the person behind the phone would go so far as to say that the origins of the ingredients are “listed on the box” and that they’re “not trying to keep anything hidden” when, alas, both of these statements are false.

The process did not change my view on the product (I still eat them!), but it did, however, make me question General Mill’s practices, and the practices of large “food product” corporations in general. It makes me wonder what they’re trying to hide and why; do they practice inhumane methods? Is their food prepared badly? Do the farms they source from have a bad reputation?

When it comes to such a packaged and manufactured food, I would go as far as to say that most people, like me, would not and do not question where it comes from. This raises a serious question as to whether or not big corporations like General Mills should be held responsible for promoting this kind of ignorance; are they advocating it for their own benefit or are people just generally not interested in how their food is made?
While the tracking process answered almost none of my questions, it did raise a lot more.


-Dana Leung


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