Our supermarket shelves now display an ever increasing barrage of ‘Food Science’ products emblazoned with ‘healthy heart’ icons and pretty sunbursts bent on convincing us that the contents will help us live longer, better, even smarter. It’s a great insight in to the dark arts of BigAg food marketing, and here’s how it works: Take a pile of GM-fabricated carbs (aka food), sprinkle it with whatever it takes to convince your customers it’s healthy, then blast them with cute graphics describing how ‘Rice Krispies boost your child’s immune system’, or Canned soup is ‘heart healthy’ because it now has less salt in it (Winner of my Good Science award). Welch’s want us to think that their Grape juice helps our hearts because it’s ‘fat free’ (though it contains more added sugar than a snickers bar). My own personal favorite is POM(egranate) juice suggesting itself as a cure for erectile dysfunction (hopefully not available to registered sex offenders).
Astonishingly, sales of these deftly labeled foods have jumped from $28 billion $37 billion in just 4 years. Why? Because we buy into the wishful thinking being created for us by BigAg marketing Wizards. If they could convince me that drinking more beer would boost my immune system, I’d probably have Joe the plumber install a keg line in my kitchen tomorrow. And although the FDA tells us that BigAg can’t make false claims about their products, why then are they pushing so hard to let us have less information about how their products are grown and processed? Or what’s really in them! As I write, no GM foods require any identifying labels in the US and our next new ‘Frankenstein’ – cloned salmon is about to be given the same free pass, too. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, here’s what’s coming next.
BigAg is working hard to criminalize taking photos or videos of their farms and food production facilities. That’s right, exposing these ‘healthy’ food practices is set to become illegal — with photographers subject to fines and possibly jail time. I wish I was making this up, but it’s exactly what’s happening in Minnesota, Florida, and Iowa Legislatures right now, and there are more bills up for voting this year throughout the entire USA. Just one more great reason to grow your own food. Even a little of it.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
I just signed Slow Food USA’s petition against legislation in three states that would criminalize taking photos or video of farms. Click below and sign the petition if this makes you mad, too.