Garden of Life shocked customers worldwide today when they announced that the company has sold its popular non-GMO, whole food vitamin brand to multi-industry giant Nestle.
Founder Jordan Rubin started Garden of Life in 2000 after he experienced a debilitating digestive disease in his late teens. At just 19 years old, Jordan lost 81 lbs from this mystery disease and was fitted for a wheelchair after more than 500 treatments from over 70 health professionals had failed him. As a last resort, Jordan decided to attempt to heal his condition by following a diet rich in whole foods, enzymes, nutrients, probiotics and Homeostatic Soil Organisms (HSO’s) blend. Shortly after adopting this lifestyle he realized that the human body is capable of incredible healing only when it receives proper nutrition.
The HSO’s attacked yeast, fungi and parasites that were found in Jordan’s gut and became the hallmark ingredients in many of the Garden of Life products, most notably their Primal Defense product, which contains 12 species of beneficial microorganisms. Jordan was healed and Garden of Life was born.
If you go to the companies website and check out the “About” section, you’ll see that the company starts out by trashing “huge commercial laboratories”:
“We are fanatical about food. We’re different that way. Whether we’re making a vitamin, or a probiotic, or a protein powder, we always start with real foods and these (foods) provide our formulas the power to be their best. We’re different this way, too. The synthetically created, chemical “breakthroughs” from huge commercial laboratories around the world are not for us. Let the other guys sell those “supplements.” No thanks.
As fanatical as we are over what goes into our products, we are even more obsessed about the things we keep out of them. We hate those synthetic chemicals that most companies use to make their products. This stuff makes machines work faster, and helps factories churn out super-sized containers at higher efficiency…”
And now Garden of Life will become “one of these companies” that is concerned about high efficiency and doesn’t care about it’s ingredients. How do we know this? Nestle has a pretty sketchy history with its ethics and ingredients.
Back in 2013, Nestle Chairman and former CEO Peter Brabeck suggested that water should be given a market value and privatized. That’s right, he said that declaring water a human right is “extreme”! Keep in mind that Nestle is the largest producer of bottled water in the world! How ethical is that? Does this sound like the kind of company you can trust to uphold the very ideals that Garden of Life was founded on? Not likely.
Nestle is also a predatory company that undermines breastfeeding worldwide. The company has gone into poor, developing countries and promoted their infant formula to poor mothers. This is a noble concept except for one caveat… these mothers have no access to clean water to make the formula for their babies which has resulted in multiple deaths. Also, by the time the free formula samples were gone, the mothers own breast milk had dried up and they were left with no way to feed their babies.
Other ethical concerns with Nestle involve child labor and trafficking, pollution, health threates including melamine present in their infant formulas in China, their history with pollution, price fixing, and promoting unhealthy food and mislabeling. And finally, let’s not forget that Nestle has donated millions of dollars to oppose GMO labeling.
What will happen to Garden of Life products as Nestle takes over? It’s hard to say. But one thing is certain- Garden of Life’s strongly upheld belief in sourcing only non-GMO, whole foods is probably going out the window. And even if Nestle says they will continue to operate and maintain the same organic standards that were once the hallmark of Garden of Life, will you believe them? Those of us here at March Against Monsanto definitely won’t.
Author’s Note: At the time of publication I tried multiple times to access the Garden of Life official website and kept receiving error codes. I was unable to access any of the informational pages for longer than one minute before the website would redirect me to a page reading “504 ERROR” and “Error 503” amongst others.