Looking to lower your impact? Here’s your cheat sheet. GoodGuide offers greenness and social responsibility ratings, via web or app, for tens of thousands of products, including food, clothing, toys, and cleaning supplies.
Obviously, it’s massively useful to be able to look up a brand on your phone and see its health and environment score before you buy. But there’s another interesting side effect of the GoodGuide website: Because it scores companies and not just products, you can use it to find out who owns your favorite brands. Even if you don’t trace your meal all the way back to the farm (and then go visit the chicken you’re about to eat), you may be surprised at where your food comes from — a lot of supposedly better-choice brands are really subsidiaries of large, conscienceless corporations.
We’ve collected some supposedly-healthy brands that are dragged down by their parent companies’ low scores, or by their legions of crappy bedfellows.
Kellogg’s is the home of elves who make sh*tty cookies, and also Gardenburgers, Kashi, and Bear Naked.
Unilever, which makes the offensive-to-senses-and-sensibilities Axe body spray, is the parent company for Ben & Jerry’s, of the Vermont natural goodness and the ice cream-powered plants. They also make SlimFast, which they will sell you after they sell you the Ben & Jerry’s.
Weight Watchers and Smart Ones brands come from crap factory Heinz. Maybe ketchup IS a vegetable.
Natural, food-co-op-lookin’ brands Terra, MaraNatha, and Garden of Eatin’ are all part of one umbrella corporation, Hain Celestial Group, which is rated only 4.9.
Kraft doesn’t just produce a bunch of neon-colored snack cheezes. It’s also responsible for the nominally-good-for-you Balance bar brand and — gulp — Boca burgers.
Campbell’s (the lowest-rated company on this list, scoring only a 3.6 on environment) owns the supposedly high-end Wolfgang Puck brand. Did Andy Warhol go to their heads?