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The Creative Gifts Of ADHD: Disorder Or Gift? Real Or Fictitious?

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), is a “disorder” that currently affects 5 to 10 percent of all children, and that’s just in America alone. Recent surveys conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control found that: (source)

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  • Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.
  • The percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011.
  • Rates of ADHD diagnosis increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006 [Read article] and an average of approximately 5% per year from 2003 to 2011.
  • Boys (13.2%) were more likely than girls (5.6%) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.
  • The average age of ADHD diagnosis was 7 years of age, but children reported by their parents as having more severe ADHD were diagnosed earlier.
  • Prevalence of ADHD diagnosis varied substantially by state, from a low of 5.6% in Nevada to a high of 18.7% in Kentucky.

What Exactly Are We Dealing With Here?

One big problem we are dealing with is the label of ADHD itself. By simply treating characteristics of ADHD as a disability (something we so commonly see in education) we are destroying the potential and self esteem of so many children.  Diagnosing a child with a mental disorder based on their lack of ability and/or desire to pay attention in a classroom seems absurd, doesn’t it?

In fact, in my opinion it’s down right crazy. Not wanting to, or not having the ability to pay attention to information that does not nourish the soul, spark the heart or capture the mind is in no way characteristic of a mental disability, but something that seems completely normal. Perhaps we should stop looking at the student and focus more on the environment we surround our children with? If it’s not stimulating enough for some students, that does not mean they have a mental disorder and should be given harmful medications.

Some of these children will be in their own world and downright refuse to pay attention, trying to amuse themselves any way they possibly can, doing what they want to do and not what others tell them to do. These children have become targets for pharmaceutical companies and targets for what might very well be a false labeling campaign based on very little science.

Characteristics associated with ADHD are in no way a “disability.” In fact, there is evidence to suggest that these characteristics might be more associated with “abilities” that should be placing many of these children in gifted school programs instead of special education programs. Unfortunately, new data from the National Center for Learning Disabilities shows that only 1 percent of students who receive services for their apparent “learning disabilities” (some of which are completely and unquestionably valid) are enrolled in gifted or talented programs. The report concluded that “students with learning and attention issues are shut out of gifted and AP programs, held back in grade level and suspended from school at higher rates than other students.” (1)

This is a pretty disturbing characteristic, and what makes it even more disturbing is the fact that recent work in cognitive neuroscience shows that both creative thinkers, and those with an ADHD diagnosis show difficulty in suppressing brain activity that comes from the “Imagination Network.” (2)(3) There are no school assessments that provide evaluation on creativity and imagination, these are hard to draw up and measure and receive very little attention in our education systems.

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In fact, something that’s touched upon in the paragraph below, a tremendous amount of research shows that people who show characteristics of ADHD are more likely to reach higher levels of creative thought and achievement compared to those who don’t show these characteristics.(4)(5)(6)(7)(8)(9) Research also shows that these characteristics are associated with the broadening of attention, and those who have them tend to have a mental “filter.” In other words, it’s their choice what they chose to give their attention to, and they are very selective and stern when it comes to that.

Scott Barry Kaufman, the  Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania says that :

“Of course, whether this is a positive thing or a negative thing depends on the context. The ability to control your attention is most certainly a valuable asset; difficulty inhibiting your inner mind can get in the way of paying attention to a boring classroom lecture or concentrating on a challenging problem. But the ability to keep your inner stream of fantasies, imagination, and daydreams on call can be immensely conducive to creativity. By automatically treating ADHD characteristics as a disability– as we so often do in an educational context– we are unnecessarily letting too many competent and creative kids fall through the cracks.” (source)

Another interesting piece of information to note is that in 2004, an author by the name of Gary Davis reviewed a large portion of literature from 1961 to 2003 and identified 22 recurring personality traits of creative people, most of which were very positive and associated with the same personality traits as people who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Some of these traits included: independence, risk taking, high energy, curiosity, humor, emotional and artistic. Some of the negative ones included: impulsive, argumentative and hyper active. He published his findings in his book “Creativity is Forever.”

It’s not the children, they do not have a disability of any kind. They simply have a different way of learning, and with a lack of differentiated instruction in modern day education systems, having a child spend 8 hours a day in such a non-stimulating environment is wrong.

The solution isn’t feeding our children drugs that have been proven to be extremely harmful in multiple ways so that a child is almost forced to pay attention and listen, but rather changing the environment that surrounds the student to make it more simulating and exciting. This is a tough task in modern day education, and something educational institutions struggle with on a daily basis.

These children do not need to be singled out and labelled with something that might be completely fictitious.

Is ADHD Even Real? 

When I was in school I received this diagnosis, alongside a learning disability and more. As a child I always knew I was perfectly fine, that everything I did and what I decided to pay attention to was simply my choice. I always felt that none of the labels and the explanations that accompanied them were valid at all, and I personally refused to take any medication that was being recommended to me. I am very glad I didn’t.

I am also a qualified, certified teacher for grades 7-12. Through volunteer as well as work experience my views on this subject matter did not change at all, but strengthened.  I have interacted with these children, as well as those within special education programs (with multiple “disabilities) and the way we label/view them is (in my opinion) completely 100 percent backwards and does nothing but harm. The labels and descriptions alone that education uses to define these kids is even worse.

The fact that children who “have trouble” paying attention to what they are not interested in are diagnosed and placed into the disability category simply based on observation alone is a frightening thought, and I am glad I’m not the only one who has asked this question.

There are many examples, and one of the most recent comes from Neurologist Dr Richard Saul.  Richard Saul is a neurologist who has had a long career in examining patients who have been having trouble with short attention spans and an inability to focus. From his first hand experience, he feels that ADHD is nothing more than a fake disorder that is really only an umbrella of symptoms and not actually a disease. He strongly feels that it should not be listed as a separate disorder in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic & Statistical Manual. You can read more about that here.

“We have a habit of always seeing issues in people who don’t fit in with the system. Whether they don’t want to be in standard education, don’t want to work their whole lives or have trouble focusing on things they don’t like, we tend to label this as a problem, but is it? Maybe we just don’t look within enough to figure out what might really be going on or why we are living the way we do. Perhaps it is time we let go of the idea of having to “fit in” to something that doesn’t resonate rather than labelling it as a disorder.” – Joe Martino, Founder of Collective Evolution.

It’s also important to note that, according to an article written in the The German Weekly, the founding father of ADHD, American psychiatrist Leon Eisenberg in a death bed interview said that “ADHD is a prime example of a fictitious disease.” The article was written by Der Spiegel and has made its way around the web for years. I cannot however completely verify that this statement was actually true. (10)

It’s also important to note the pharmaceutical drug aspect into this equation. For (one small out of many) example(s), American psychologist Lisa Cosgrove and others investigated Financial Ties between the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders (DSM) panel members and the pharmaceutical industry. They found that, of the 170 DSM panel members 95 (56%) had one or more financial associations with companies in the pharmaceutical industry. One hundred percent of the members of the panels on ‘mood disorders’ and ‘schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders’ had financial ties to drug companies. The connections are especially strong in those diagnostic areas where drugs are the first line of treatment for mental disorders. In the next edition of the manual, it’s the same thing. (11)(12)

“The DSM appears to be more a political document than a scientific one. Each diagnostic criteria in the DSM is not based on medical science. No blood tests exist for the disorders in the DSM. It relies on judgments from practitioners who rely on the manual.” (11) – Lisa Cosgrove, PhD, Professor of Counseling and School Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

The very vocabulary of psychiatry is now defined at all levels by the pharmaceutical industry,” Dr. Irwin Savodnik, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles (source)

There is lots of evidence to suggest that Pharmaceutical companies have influenced certain psychiatrists to “pathologize” certain behavior as a mental illness so more drugs can be marketed to the masses. In my opinion the evidence is overwhelming, but we’ll save that for another article as it is a big topic.

There are lots of things to consider when it comes to ADHD, and the content of this article is just the beginning. What are your thoughts on ADHD? Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section below.

Sources:

(1) http://www.ncld.org/ld-insights/blogs/kids-with-disabilities-shut-out-of-gifted-programs-held-back-more-often

(2) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899309004612

(3) http://www.rexjung.com/creativity/2013/7/24/the-structure-of-creative-cognition-in-the-human-brain

(4) http://psydok.sulb.uni-saarland.de/volltexte/2007/904/pdf/ADHD.pdf

(5) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019188691000601X

(6) http://jordanbpeterson.com/Publications/Research_Articles/38%202003%20Carson%20SH%20Peterson%20JB%20Higgins%20DM%20Decreased%20LI%20creativity%20JPSP.pdf

(7) http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1019812829706#page-1

(8) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15327035EX1002_3#.VHJR24vF80Q

(9) http://www.amazon.com/Misdiagnosis-Diagnoses-Gifted-Children-Adults/dp/0910707677

(10) Blech, Jörg: Schwermut ohne Scham. In: Der Spiegel, Nr. 6/6.2.12, p. 122–131, p. 128.

(11) http://www.tufts.edu/~skrimsky/PDF/DSM%20COI.PDF

(12) http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001190

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Box Top$ For Education Is Not Supporting Education (Here’s Why)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Box Top$ For Education program has kicked off yet again with messaging to suggest it helps schools across the country. However, when you go beyond the surface it's far from what it seems and promotes itself as.

  • Reflect On:

    What labels and initiatives do you let impact your behavior as a consumer?

National Box Tops for Education Week kicks off coast-to-coast fundraising.  For over 20 years, the Box Tops for Education program has provided families a way to help raise money for their school. The program was created to “help support education and benefit American schools” by providing a small amount of money from each item purchased. Does this program truly benefit education and support learning?

Who’s Really Benefitting?

General Mills, Inc., an American multi-billion-dollar multinational manufacturer, and marketer of branded consumer food is genuinely the benefactor. Giving a school 10 cents for every item bought is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money General Mills earns at the expense of our health. At first glance, it appears this company has been extremely generous, donating $719,000,000 in the last 20 years. If you do the math and divide each year’s totals by the 80,000 plus schools in the United States, it equates to a whopping $449 per school. As one can see, General Mills has done a fantastic marketing job, encouraging our kids to eat their garbage. Sure, we can buy school supplies, Kleenex tissues, and a few toxic cleaning products on the list, but what’s the fun in that.

Crappy, Overly-Processed “Food-Like” Products Do Not Support Learning

Diet and nutrition deeply affect a child’s learning ability. Sadly the qualifying products on the Box Top list including Hamburger Helper, Lucky Charms, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Fruit Roll-Ups, and alike do not achieve this.

Did You Know? The ingredient list for strawberry fruit roll-ups doesn’t include strawberries!

Instead, it contains genetically modified corn syrup and dextrose (refined sugar derived from GM corn, and artificial food dyes – red 40, yellow 5&6, blue 1 (derived from coal tar and petroleum).

Nutrient-rich homemade meals are being replaced with boxed, frozen, and canned foods due to higher prices of healthy food, our hectic lifestyles, and brainwashing tactics, such TV ads and campaigns such as the Box Top program.

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The Truth

Processed food lacks essential whole food nutrients the brain needs to function correctly. They contain ingredients such as genetically modified corn syrup, refined sugar, synthetic salt, unhealthy fats, artificial colors and flavors, chemical preservatives, and unrevealed heavy metals and pesticides. All of these ingredients work against a child’s ability to learn. 

Pesticides and antibiotics found in food today are detrimental to our healthy gut microbiota which are essential to brain function and development. Both are designed to kill bugs. So, we are destroying our gut bugs that help regulate and keep our immune systems strong and healthy to support our brain.

Studies have also shown that the high sugar content of processed foods may contribute to diabetes, which can affect a student’s learning in many ways. Blood sugar levels can affect cognitive functioning and school performance. According to many scientific journals and newsletters from prestigious universities like Harvard Medical School, processed food consumption are also linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, sleep problems, hyperactivity, attention; and mood symptoms including depression and anxiety.

Boxed foods are also linked to other severe health issues like obesity and high blood pressure. Two extensive European studies published by BMJ in May 2019 links processed foods with a range of health risks, including cardiovascular death. Another scientific study conducted by scientists from Yale University in the U.S. and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany indicated that “excess refined salt used in fast-food restaurants and the over-consumption of sodium from other processed foods may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases.”  Processed foods can also trigger cancer.  The researchers warn that the rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods “may drive an increasing burden of cancer in the next decades.”

Don’t Be A Victim To The Marketing Ploy

We are poisoning ourselves, and the consequences are starting to show with the incredible rise of neurodevelopmental, mental illness, and diseases like cancer, asthma, diabetes, and many autoimmune disorders. So, let’s forgo the Box Top’s and find healthier and more productive ways to raise money for our schools. These big ag companies have no interest in changing current practices no matter how sick they’re making all of us. Or how many medications we are all dependent on. These companies are generating trillions of dollars of their products, and creating customers for life. General Mills and most food companies are owned by Monsanto/Bayer. They are adhering to FDA guidelines and are not violating any federal laws because they fund the FDA (Industry User Fees).

Fighting big lobbyist groups can seem like an impossibility for most of us, so we need to take our power back by voting with our dollar. We must refuse to purchase products with barcodes that are making 10 cents for our schools. And choose healthy instead.


Looking to help your family overcome ADHD, autism, anxiety and more without medication? Get access to download my FREE eBook ‘Every Parent’s Starter Kit to a Healthy Family’ by signing up HERE.

 

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Awareness

Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh Answers The Question

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains why he chooses not to consume any meat or dairy products, and points towards the overwhelmingly cruel food industry.

  • Reflect On:

    What gives us the right to torture animals, steal their babies, abuse them simply for our consumption? Where is our compassion, morality and empathy? Have we been made and brainwashed to believe that it's ok?

The most heartbreaking thing to see and to witness is an innocent benevolent being getting tortured and suffering. This is the realty of eating animal products today. Billions of animals are raised for slaughter every single year, and the overwhelmingly large majority of them go through horrific and terrifying experiences. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could eat or wear the clothes of diseased animals knowing what they went through. It’s also hard to believe that anybody who does eat or purchase products that have used animals in their manufacturing process would do that kind of “labour” themselves.

The truth is that many people still don’t know what these beings are going through. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, immoral, and unethical. Morality, empathy, and love are all emotions that need to return to planet Earth, and as long as we have multiple industries exploiting animals, that can’t happen.

If you’re unaware of what these animals are going through on a daily basis, a recent PETA investigation on two of the world’s top cashmere exporters revealed extreme cruelty, including the violent killing of cashmere goats. You can read more about it and see some footage of that here, if you’re interested.

You can view more examples of graphic footage in the trailer of “The Buddha Bowl,” a documentary in the making featuring personalities and some of the most influential and renowned spiritual leaders from all over the world sharing their perspectives on veganism. These include viewpoints from Buddha himself and from spiritual leaders from the past and present, totalling about 30 interviews on animal rights, environmental issues and health.

One of the people in that documentary is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is recognized as a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist. The video below is not part of the documentary listed above, but from an interview taken a few years ago at a conference.

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Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?

There is no doubt our world is becoming more awake, aware, and compassionate. Millions of people around the world have transitioned towards a plant-based diet. This represents the kind of compassion and empathy our world needs more of, and this diet can do nothing but benefit human health, the planet, and the animals.

It’s no secret that eating meat and animal products is destroying the Earth, as clearing land for animal grazing and slaughter is one of the leading causes of deforestation, and factory farms are an environmental disaster.

More people are also starting to become aware of plant-based diets and their health benefits.

A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart. The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,”

It’s one of many studies that’ve emerged over the years showing the benefits of plant-based diets and their ability to reverse diseases. On the other hand, many studies published have shown how the consumption of meat has the exact opposite effect.

Below is a clip from a recent CETV episode where CE founder Joe Martino and I go into the discussion a little deeper, with a specific focus on plant-based protein compared to meat protein. If interested, you can watch the full episode here by signing up for your free trial. CETV is a platform that we created to combat the censorship we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.

I also go into this type of discussion, if you’re interested in reading about it, in an article I recently published: “Another Study Suggests Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat.”

The Takeaway

Human beings are born with compassion and empathy. What we are doing to animals on our planet today, and how many continue to ignore it and be unaffected by it, is simply as a result of mass brainwashing and marketing by big food corporations. The truth is that we’ve been taught to ignore it, we’ve been taught to believe that it’s OK and it’s our right to do this to others who share the planet with us. No child would ever stand for such a thing unless they were taught to do so. It’s the same thing as racism, we are not born with it, we are taught it. I urge all those who are reading this to do their research into where the vast majority of our food and clothes are coming from, watch what these animals are going through, look into their eyes and and feel what they are feeling.

The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others, animal or human, is a HUGE and VITAL step towards creating a better world and a better overall human experience.

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Awareness

Food Brands Owned By Monsanto

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Below is a list of food brands currently owned by Monsanto. The list was put out by Vocal Media.

  • Reflect On:

    Are the foods we eat safe? Are the chemicals we eat ingest with them safe? A lot of science has shown otherwise, so what's really going on here.

Monsanto is a biotech corporation that was founded in the early 1900s. They produce genetically modified foods (GMOs) and many chemicals that are sprayed onto our food, including several pesticides. A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research titled, Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults” outlined the issue with these chemicals, many of which were actually originally designed by Monsanto as warfare weapons to be used as nerve agents.

The study highlighted that diet is the primary source of pesticide exposure in both children and adults. It found that an organic diet significantly reduced neonicotinoid, OP pyrethroid, 2,4-D exposure, with the greatest reduction observed in malathion, clothianidin, and chlorpyrifos.

The researchers noted that all of us are exposed “to a cocktail of toxic synthetic pesticides linked to a range of health problems from our daily diets.” They explained how “certified organic food is produced without these pesticides,” and attempted to answer the question, “Can eating organic really reduce levels of pesticides in our bodies?”

They tested four American families who typically don’t eat organic food to find out.

First, we tested the levels of pesticides in their bodies on a non-organic diet for six days. We found 14 chemicals representing potential exposure to 40 different pesticides in every study participant. These included organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and the phenoxy herbicide 2,4-D. Some of the pesticides we found are linked to increased risk of cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and more. (source)

This is one of multiple studies that’ve shown the benefits of switching to an organic diet.

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When it comes to GMOs, there is a wealth of information that shows corruption with regard to their approval. A great resource to learn more about that is  called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverte.

The stranglehold that corporations like Monsanto have on governments and government agencies like the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is quite strong. Many senior CDC scientists actually stressed this, but there are several other examples of this type of corruption.

For example, glyphosate, an active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.

Glyphosate has been implicated in thousands of cancer cases, and Monsanto has already paid out billions of dollars to multiple victims. Dewayne Johnson is one of multiple examples.

Many mainstream foods were also found to be contaminated with glyphosate. Here’s a list of children’s foods that’ve been contaminated.

Monsanto was recently acquired by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Big food and big pharma are one in the same. They own the press, they own politicians, and they practically dictate government policy. There are a multitude of examples that illustrate the massive amount of corruption that drives these corporations, yet they are still operating despite the fact that the products they offer have been proven to be extremely damaging to human health as well as the environment.

Those of you who have been involved in the past in the battle to protect our children from poorly made vaccines or toxic chemicals in our food or in our water know the power of these industries and how they’ve undermined every institution in our democracy that is supposed to protect little children from powerful, greedy corporations. Even the pharmaceutical companies have been able to purchase congress. They’re the largest lobbying entity in Washington D.C.. They have more lobbyists in Washington D.C. than there are congressman and senators combined. They give twice to congress what the next largest lobbying entity is, which is oil and gas… Imagine the power they exercise over both republicans and democrats. They’ve captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press… and they destroy the publications that publish real science. – Robert F. Kennedy (source)

Today, annual protests are held against the agrochemical company to demonstrate the public’s displeasure with Monsanto’s practices. Not only do the protests illustrate how many people are against genetically modified organisms, but they also represent how many people are against the dangerous pesticides Monsanto produces to kill off pests and insects.

Here are some of the brands that Monsanto works with.

The Brands

This list was recently put out by Vocal Media.

  • Aunt Jemima
  • Aurora Foods
  • Banquet
  • Best Foods
  • Betty Crocker
  • Bisquick
  • Cadbury
  • Campbell’s
  • Capri Sun
  • Carnation
  • Chef Boyardee
  • Coca Cola
  • ConAgra
  • Delicious Brand Cookies
  • Duncan Hines
  • Famous Amos
  • Frito Lay
  • General Mills
  • Green Giant
  • Healthy Choice
  • Heinz
  • Hellman’s
  • Hershey’s Nestle
  • Holsum
  • Hormel
  • Hungry Jack
  • Hunts
  • Interstate Bakeries
  • Jiffy
  • KC Masterpiece
  • Keebler/Flowers Industries
  • Kelloggs
  • Kid Cuisine
  • Knorr
  • Kool-Aid
  • Kraft/Phillip Morris
  • Lean Cuisine
  • Lipton
  • Loma Linda
  • Marie Callenders
  • Minute Maid
  • Morningstar
  • Butterworths
  • Nabisco
  • Nature Valley
  • Ocean Spray
  • Ore-Ida
  • Orville Redenbacher
  • Pasta- Roni
  • Pepperidge Farms
  • Pepsi
  • Pillsbury
  • Pop Secret
  • Post Cereals
  • Power Bar Brand
  • Prego Pasta Sauce
  • Pringles
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Quaker
  • Ragu Sauce
  • Rice-A-Roni
  • Smart Ones
  • Stouffers
  • Shweppes
  • Tombstone Pizza
  • Totinos
  • Uncle Ben’s
  • Unilever
  • V8

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, despite the massive amount of corruption and illegal activities these companies have engaged in, we are the ones buying their products and consuming their foods. All we have to do is make better choices–we can switch to organic produce, we can do our research and purchase from ethical companies, and we can refuse to spray our lawns with herbicides. Vote with your dollar.

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