Thursday, 22 January 2009

New Moon Kitchen Bares It All

I am dedicating this post to those of you (us) out there who seek to learn about a company by "googling" it. Maybe you are coming up to this post right here because you googled "new moon kitchen" and here we are!!
And maybe you scrolled through the pages on your screen and found some terrible things posted about us...
I want to set the record straight! And if you have no idea what I am talking about then welcome to storytime on my blog, this week's story is called "How some people are out to get you for no good reason".

Back in September or October one of my staff sent some cookies to a blogger in Oakland, CA. She writes a blog about vegetarianism and food etc...
She got our cookies - sent an email asking "what is in the chocolate chips you use?"
we wrote her back with the ingredients of the chips: sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, soy lecithin, vanillin.
Next thing we know she posted a blog saying that we use "petrochemicals and charred animal bones" in our cookies...
NOW HOLD UP - you can only imagine my SHOCK and horror to be reading this stuff about my beloved little cookies. So I write back to her and give her the facts about the chips we use, that they are made by one of the very best chocolate manufacturers in the world, Barry Callebaut, and that the chips do not contain any petrochemicals or charred bones.
Funny thing was, even after we sent the info to her she wouldn't post it on her blog, she was deleting our feedback comments.
Then we got a call from Treehugger which is an online site devoted to ethical and green living.
They got a "tip" about this person's blog and wanted to hear the story from our side.
I was interviewed by treehugger  and they wrote this great, non-biased article about the whole thing.

I was infuriated by it all - if it hadn't happened to me I would think it great fodder for discussions about the power of the "information age" but how information can be spread without facts. I even checked about getting the information taken off the web (because it is false - as you will see if you read through the associated links) but google won't take info off unless they receive a court order to do so.

After all is said and done, let me explain what caused the blogger's little tantrum.
We make 11 products. 4 of our products contain chocolate chips. The ingredient labelling on our packaging says "semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)". At the time when we had our packaging designed, it was not a requirement to list the ingredients of ingredients for a chocolate chip.
The chips we use are kosher parve, nut-free, and vegan. The sugar in them was not processed with the use of animal bones for bleaching the sugar. There is no petrochemical in the vanillin.
AND we have since switched to a different Barry Callebaut chip that uses pure vanilla.

Some of you may not care about any of this, and some of you may - that's why I'm posting this; to clear up any confusion, and to clear our name.
Now what did I learn from all of this? What little nugget of knowledge can I share...
That revenge is a low level of energy exchange and does nothing to make any kind of change in the world. So instead of "fighting" back I decided to keep on making cookies, running my company well, and just plain got over it. 
Or let's say it another way - if you have a choice to feed the negative or the positive - which one do you go for? Which one do you want to see grow?

If any of you readers or consumers have any questions about all this- please do let me know!
xo Eden


Alice Leonard, Angel Food said...

Hi Eden. Sorry to read what you've had to go through - I run a vegan food business too, and I think people underestimate the complexity of it all! Good on you for your openness and honesty.

Harry Bishop said...

Hi Eden - as both a customer of your cookies who read ingredients VERY carefully (my wife has MSG allergies), and as someone in the online marketing industry, I've learned many, many, many times ... the Internet is just a collection of what millions of (mosthly non-expert) people write, or blog, or vent, or argue about. And most of what is on the internet, is a repeat of what was found somewhere else on the web. It's a great starting point for finding information, but you can't guarantee what you find without looking into it.

The good part is that you can get your own words out there as well - the blog, your site, Facebook, Twitter, whatever ... your real reputation will get out there! :-)

PS - soy lecithin is a no-no for an MSG-free diet (I understand that the reason is the processing of soy products creates natural glutamates). This is the only item I've noticed in your ingredients to date that's an issue for us, and I know you only have a few items with this in (which we avoid), but if you find another option that would be great!

Thanks for the great cookies (I've got a partially done bag of "Love Bites" in front of my as I write!)


elizabeth said...

it's amazing how many people out there become challenging to communicate with because of their belief systems, and are willing to post horrid things about something they really don't know anything about. it's even worse that others then read what they have to say and take it as fact, instead of going to the source. just as it happens in the world of alternative baking, it happens even more in mainstream media. thanks to pioneers like you :) there is hope!