Agribusiness Environmental Damage Human Rights Land Defenders Latin America

Vote With Your Dollar, Euro, Pound, Peso…

Lee este articulo en español aquí. GIF credit here.

Hey Amigos – Yesterday, I went to my local grocery store (Ralph’s or Kroger as it’s known in some other parts of the US). I normally shop at Whole Foods and both are about a block’s distance from me, but given I’m no longer working, I have to be sensible and give my pocketbook a little TLC. 🙂


I was picking up my usual plant-based staples: beans, tomatoes, lettuce, almond/cashew milk and other veggies. However, I had a few ingredients I wanted to pick up to try out some new recipes and one of those recipes (Thai Pineapple Cashew Fried Rice) called for pineapple. So, I go to the canned fruit aisle and as soon as I saw the brand “Dole,” I recalled that, in my research for this blog and my Instagram feed, I came across information that called Dole out as one of the large agribusinesses that had banana farms in Costa Rica, one of several LatAm countries where 207 indigenous land activists were killed trying to protect their lands from deforestation, human rights abuses and other maltreatment by these large industrial food companies. Read my blog here. I decided (as I preach) to buy another brand. I will not support a company that disregards human rights and destroys virgin forests in the  name of top line (revenue) and profit growth. Fuck that:!:

Well, guess what? I didn’t have an option as it were… Look at my snapshot above. Do you notice that there is NO OTHER OPTION for pineapple other than Dole?! WTF. 😕 It seems Ralph’s has an exclusive contract for all pineapple products with Dole because normally, you can find generic alternatives. Not here.

Being a responsible citizen realizing that my consumption is important and my voice is exercised by CHOOSING not to purchase these products, I decided to go without. Now, I’m taking a trip to Whole Foods to buy some flax seeds later today. If the cost of either frozen or canned pineapples is (1) responsibly sourced and (2) doesn’t cost $10, then I’ll buy them there. If not, oh well, I’ll move on to another recipe.

Btw, after doing some additional research on Dole Foods, I found out that it’s owned by a billionaire (surprise!) and that he committed some fraudulent act to try to undercut shareholders by artificially pricing the company shares below their actual value. Listen, you don’t have to know jack about finance and the stock market. This sounds shady AF. Do you want to support a company whose profits will go to enrich yet another billionaire who has no need for more money…and less than scrupulous character at that??? I don’t. Do yourself a favor, buy generic, buy fresh, buy local (i.e. Farmer’s Market) or don’t buy pineapple at all.

See amigos, that wasn’t hard at all. I feel SO GOOD about my decision and my choice. If we start doing this in great numbers, in many different countries, that sends a message and forces these a-holes to stop fucking with our food and stop abusing, killing and destroying in the name of profit.

Here are some other interesting articles and facts about Dole Foods (they’re shady AF):

In addition to the above, I came across some very interesting articles in Spanish. For those who don’t read Spanish, I’ll summarize the commentary/intro below to give you the gist:

  1. publishes that Dole Food will compensate more than 5,000 ex-banana growers in Central America (Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica) after it was proven that [their health was] “…affected by the use of pesticides…[that] have been linked to serious health problems such as infertility, cancer and Congenital malformations.”
  2. Okay, so you won’t believe what happened after the US court settlement mentioned in link # 1 above was finalized? I’ll tell you…Dole refused to pay the compensation ordered. Remember I noted that the owner of this company has billions of dollars in his name…think about that context as you consider the fact that Dole refused to pay theses Central American ex-employees (some who have already died) for all the diseases (and cancer) that they acquired because of their work with this company which were caused by all the pesticides they use.
  3. National Agency of Production (PNP) and Responsible Trade of Pineapple in Costa Rica
  4. Oxfam Germany: Study and analysis of labor and environmental conditions of the pineapple agricultural industry in Costa Rica (in Spanish)