Don't Buy Oreos, Instead Try...

by - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

This blog series "Don't Buy... Instead Try..." intends to point out some of the most egregiously unethical, wasteful, and environmentally ridiculous companies out there. Instead of dwelling on their considerable awfulness, the series will focus on the other options you have for purchasing.

Every purchase we make is a vote for the kind of world we want. 
Every single purchase is political.
 Every single purchase has ethical ramifications, and 
every single purchase should be approached with a spirit of stewardship. 

We can change the world by refusing to fund extreme greed, the mistreatment of other human beings, and the trashing of the environment. We need to stay aware of the many choices available to us. Will we get it right every time? No. But if we all make little changes, we can send companies a new message, that consumers will show up if they do the right thing (and they won't if the companies grab for easier, cheaper money). 

from Flickr
What's more American than an Oreo cookie? I can remember getting really excited to find oreos while studying abroad, because they just felt like home. And no milkshake can stand up to the pure glory of an oreo milkshake. It reminds me of a 50's diner or something, pure Americana.

Turns out LOTS of things are more American than Oreo Cookies.

Earlier this year, Nabisco caused outrage by moving the manufacturing of some oreo cookies to Mexico, shipping 600 jobs away from the American people. I have noticed a shift in approach for their entire business. Doesn't it feel like they are always coming up with another crazy flavor? They seem to have redirected their money and energy toward constantly churning out new products instead of making their cookies ethically and well.

What?! Gross.
Their grab for shelf space and move to Mexico honestly feels pretty desperate, but if you want to A. Support American workers and B. Cut down on your waste, it may be time to give up on the Oreos. The Made in America Movement called for a boycott to support Chicago and the many employees who lost their jobs in this crappy move by Irene Rosenfeld.

Give up Oreos? That seems like such a weird thing to do. But no one is suggesting boycotting all cookies, just these stinkers. Want some ideas of other options? Let's do this.

1. Make your own Oreos! This might make a really fun weekend experiment to find what cookies are closest to your favorites (we might actually try this it sounds so fun). I found two recipes meant to copy Oreos on Top Secret Recipes and Food Network. It could be a cute gift to an oreo-lover in your life! Plus, you get to skip all the packaging and chemical ingredients that make these cookies last so long.

2. Newman-O's- These cookies are healthier (organic ingredients, no fake sweeteners etc), Made in the US, and all the proceeds go to the Newman charities. The taste isn't exactly the same, but they are still pretty darn tasty. May need a milkshake test to know for sure. If you want fast, easy, and pretty darn similar, this is probably the way to go.

3. Trader Joes- They sell Joe Joes, which won the Huffington Post test for tasting most like an Oreo without being an Oreo. Still not stellar health-wise, but you are having a cookie, so you kind of know that already.

4. Try a Local Cookie- Here in Seattle, we have Cougar Mountain Cookies (so good). What cookies are sneaking by in your cookie aisle. Think about it. Nabisco has figured out how to dominate the shelf space not by having so many products, but tons of variations of the same two (Oreos and Chips Ahoy). Poke around and see what else is hiding around the giant mass of "fun flavored) Oreos. Let me know if you find something cool!

5. Sweet Cream and Cookies- Lots of Ice Cream companies have a cookies and cream option, and some are Oreos (I think Baskin Robbins is). Other companies, like Ben and Jerry's (all made in the US), sell an ice cream with their own cookie, so you can still get that delicious combo without giving Oreo your money!

What Else Can I Do?

Don't like what Nabisco is doing and want to stand up for the Oreo's Americaness? Mad you have to boycott them? Want a delicious Oreo milkshake? Stand up for your cookie! Write them a letter! I will even get your started.

Dear Irene Rosenfeld, 

I love Oreo cookies. I would bet, on average, I buy (insert number here) packages of Oreo cookies a year. (add the flavor you like best or a good Oreo story). 

I have given Nabisco my business for many years, but your recent decisions to move Oreos manufacturing to Mexico will cost you my money. I will no longer buy your product until you move Oreos back into the United States. I want to stand up for American jobs, the Chicago workforce, and the large environmental cost of having to move this product much further. 

Please move Oreos back into Chicago. Thank you.

(Your Beautiful Name)

This month, we are going to be ALL OVER American companies (and companies that posture as American, but aren't doing much for our people or our environment). Check in often for more companies and their alternatives!

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  1. Should we email, or mail? I will stand up for cookies!



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