Food shopping  informed: For Palestine

15/01/2024

By Ines Jabir, RD

This article will delve into products and companies that support Israel's promise of genocide and what we can do to make informed food choices to support the Palestinian resistance.  Fear not! There are plenty of alternatives to choose.

With the current death toll of civilians deaths and events escalating in all Palestine, it is important to understand how we can help our brothers and sisters. Israel has caused almost thousands of victims in more tha 100 days  and one of the elements to revolt against this genocide from all over the world is boycotting. You can boycott by avoiding the purchase of goods made in Israel, companies collaborating with Israel and investing in Israeli companies.

The Big Companies

With over 1,800 facilities, the Israeli food processing sector is an important player in the domestic economy. The Israeli food processing industry is innovative, marketing thousands of new products per year. Multi-national food manufacturers like Nestlé, Unilever, Danone, and Pepsi partner with well-known Israeli food companies such as Osem and Strauss. Four groups dominate the local industry: the Central Company for Beverages Distribution (Coca-Cola), Strauss Group Ltd., Tnuva Ltd., and Osem.

Below are the main products "mother" companies that manage multiple smaller brands. Always look at the manufacturer's company at the back of all products you buy.

Tnuva's products:

  • Tnuva dairy products and desserts
  • Tnuva Pastries
  • Quality Protein Products
  • Yolo Ice-cream 
  • Goodweek Drinks

Various products below are a partnership between Israeli companies and predominantly American companies. For instance, in the world of snacking Mondelez International is one of the biggest protagonists who collaborate and funds Israeli companies. Due to the company being the lead in confectionary and snacks, multiple products are under its umbrella. Here is an idea of some products:

Alternatively exploring supermarket own-brand products becomes a viable option. Brands found in stores like Aldi and Lidl offer a wide array of snacks and confectionery alternatives as well as support smaller bakeries and pastry houses. Always look out for the "made in".

Dates

DATES COMPANIES TO AVOID
DATES COMPANIES TO AVOID

As Ramadan is approaching, we will be filling our homes with more dates and dried fruits. This Ramadan, make the right choice and do not buy dates from companies that exploit Palestinian land and labour.

Medjool dates are the ones typically sold by Israeli companies, particularly AgriFood (under Star Dates) or Hadiklaim and here are few reasons why:

  • Exploiting labour 
  • Illegal Israeli settlements
  • Stolen natural resources from Palestinian resources

⚠️ Check the label when buying dates. Do not buy dates that are produced or packaged in Israel or its West Bank settlements

Alternatively, choose dates from Tunisia, Algeria or Palestine-owned businesses (Zaytoun Fairtrade Medjoul Dates).

Follow this link to know about more dates brands to buy from at @nutritionwithines

Fruits and Vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables are often wrongly labelled as "Produced in Israel" when it is taken from the established settlements labelled Carmel, Tnuva, Havera Seeds. Interestingly, up to 2011, Carmel Agrexco was the biggest agriculture exporter to the European Union. In the same year, the company went into liquidation due to the enormous debt. 

Most fruits and vegetables are labelled with Carmel, Tnuva, Havera Seeds.

What to look for?

  • Most fruits exported from Israel are: oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, pomegranates and avocados. Alternatives of these Mediterranean fruits are from Spain, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Iran and Morocco. 
  • Most vegetables exported from Israel are: tomatoes, sweet potatoes, aubergines and cucumber. Alternatives are exported from Mexico, Egypt, Spain, Turkey and Netherlands.

In Summary, what can you do?

  1. Always check the label. Never buy products made or packed in Israeli illegal settlements.
  2. Buy alternative product and Palestinian-owned products.
  3. Contact the supermakets if you believe or suspect they are using Israeli products. Encourage them to use alternatives and encourage your peers to boycott Israeli products and companies having commercial relationship with Israel. 

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Nutrition Balance's editorial stance.