These Top 10 Food Companies Control Nearly Everything We Eat

A new map puts our food system in a whole new light.

The number of Doritos chip varieties may be on the rise, but the number of companies that own our food is shrinking. A new map published on Business Insider shows the top 10 food companies and what they own, and not surprisingly, they own almost everything. You can count all the companies with just two hands: PepsiCo, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Associated British Foods, Mondēlez (formerly Kraft Foods), Mars, Danone, Unilever, Coca-Cola and Nestle.

The information for the map comes from Oxfam America's “Behind the Brands” campaign. OxFam America began scoring these “Big Ten” companies on seven themes from battling climate change to equal rights for women.

As of April, General Mills has scored the worst of the Big Ten with a score of 15/70 — it got a big fat 1 for not recognizing “specific issues faced by female workers” and “one big no” for not taking action on farmland being used to grow fuel crops. Nestle is in the lead with a score of 45/70.

Clearly, the Big Ten have much more work to do. As Business Insider reports, “the Big 10 emitted 263.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 and if the companies were a nation, it would be the 25th most polluting country in the world.”

Although OxFam America only looks at the top-earning companies for its campaign, there's something to be said about consolidation in our food system. It's not just conventional brands, but natural brands that have all been a part of big buyouts.

Click on the image to see the map in full: 

Clarissa A. Leon is AlterNet's food editor. She formerly served as an investigative research assistant at The Daily Beast and The Nation Institute. 

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