An appeal to a food industry giant

Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2019 at 18:33

If you’ve followed food industry news for as many years as I have, you may be aware of the very large imprint of the Nestle company.

My adaptation of Nestle Toll House cookies has been a hit among family and friends, who say they’re the best chocolate chip cookies they’ve ever had. Nestle produces so many things I love, so it pains me to boycott them. Today I sent them a letter about Lean Cuisine, which is packaged in plastic trays that cannot be recycled.

I hope they will adopt a sustainable food option. As I wrote in my letter, downloadable below, the company’s “Glazed Chicken with Vegetable Rice,” has been in my repertoire since I gave birth to my first child in the 1980s. Through the years, when I have looked for convenient ways to restrict calories, I have relied on Lean Cuisine.

However, Lean Cuisine products are packaged in plastic trays. According to its own website, these trays are made from polyethylene terephthalate, for which there is no longer a recycling market. Here’s a capture from their website:

Nestle is a giant in the food industry. It has the power to affect broad, global change. Unfortunately, the company has demonstrated that power in some not-so-savory ways, such as introducing low-quality junk food to countries that used to eat healthy fresh food. The New York Times has reported on some of this, and here is a link to one of those articles.

I am also not enamored Nestle’s bottled water business located here in Indiana. Bottles that have contained water are among the most common items trashing our oceans and contributing to the worldwide health issues posed by plastic waste and microplastics.

With as big as Nestle is in the food industry, I’m sure I will be writing to them many times over the next year. I hope they will begin a conversation about how they can be better stewards of our planet. Because in the final analysis, it won’t matter how much money they make if they are instrumental in ruining the environment. That is what I tell them in my letter, below.


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