truth…IN FOOD ADVERTISING

I was walking through the grocery store to pick up some ginger ale to mix with my Jameson …medicine and something caught my eye. Cherry 7-Up Antioxidant…um, ok.


Now good people, I am not a scientist… but on occasion I have been known to think. Wouldn’t the benefits of antioxidants in high fructose corn syrup and dye filled soda water, be outweighed by the fact that they are in high fructose corn syrup and dye filled soda water?! Their advertising tells me “There’s never been a more delicious way to cherry pick your antioxidant.” Really?! What’s wrong with a nice fresh red pepper, or a tomato or a hundred other wonderful foods with antioxidants? I pick on 7Up, but it’s not completely their fault…Some egghead at an advertising firm sat staring at the ingredients list and had to think of something truthful to say about soda or snack food or ice cream or whatever else someone plunked in front of him/her.  Now I know as an American male in the 21-54 year old demographic or whatever age group they lump me into, I’m supposed to be a complete moron. (Shut it Cat!) I see the advertisements…..start scene….. I am talking on the phone telling my buddies I’m eating Boston cream pie while what I’m really doing is staring into a fridge full of yogurt..and crappy yogurt at that. I don’t know what genius thought this one up, maybe someone who has never had yogurt, or never saw a guy have a phone conversation with a buddy. Here’s how that would go…


Guy 1- Got a tee time for 7 tomorrow. You in?
Guy 2- Yeah.
Guy 1- Cool, see ya.
Guy 2- *beep*


(normally this would be in text form, but ad people think everybody still talks on the phone…I myself have gone beyond needing to talk to people at all, much less actual friends)


So after I saw the miracle antioxidant soda, it got me wondering what other silly ad crap is out there. I wasn’t disappointed.


“Natural”, this was on so many different foods I stopped counting. The best part about the word natural in the ad world is, they don’t have to explain to you what it actually means…which is absolutely, JACK, SQUAT. Most people when they see the word Natural in labeling, define it in their own terms according to how they see it. But when you come down to it, all food is natural to one degree or another….the vegetables that go into a can of soup are natural….but then again so is the cow manure used to grow them, and naturally, I won’t be eating that.


“Organic”, this is a good one as well. Now technically, there are laws governing what organic means. But they have become so stretched and convoluted that they mean virtually nothing. Cows that are feed organically certified grain to produce organic milk and yet never see so much as a blade of grass doesn’t sound very organic to me. Importing certified organic produce from China also concerns me… These are the the folks that brought us melamine in dog food, and antifreeze in toothpaste. If we’re stretching what “organic” means in the states, what are they doing to them over there?! Organic is a fine word if you’re buying from farmer Joe down the street who’s hawking squash at the farmers market…..there “organic”, actually means something.


“Fresh” If something is in a bag and warm, as in, it just came out of the oven within the hour….Then it’s fresh. If something is in a bag with preservatives and a sell by date and has been there more than an hour…it’s not fresh anymore.


“Wholesome” Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” was wholesome, food is not wholesome.


“Zero Trans-fat” Just because you see this on your favorite package of processed preservative laden cookies, does not mean you should make a meal of the entire contents of said package, because you’re “feeling pretty stoked about it being zero trans-fat.”


“Homemade” Unless a significant other, be it your grandma, husband, child, aunt etc… wrote this on your bag lunch….it is NOT, homemade.


“Cage Free”- You’ve seen these in the store… the super eggs, cage free, free range, hormone free, fed an all natural vegetarian diet (when did chickens stop eating bugs by the way?) fully tanned, massaged by virgins, run three miles a day and drinking only water from glaciers on the eastern slopes of the Himalayan mountains for the low low price of eight bucks and your first born child…. these babies must be running in herds on the great plains making the remaining buffalo tremble right? Yeah, not so much….more industrial farming. Do yourself a favor and find a local farm for some real “cage free” eggs…and don’t freak out when you find out chickens are still eating bugs.


“Hearty”….It means heart felt… How does your heart feel when you’re eating that can of chicken broccoli cheese manly soup with 22 grams of fat, 1780 grams of sodium and more than 30 carbs?! Mmmmm Mmmmm _________________ flat line! And these people think you should pour this liquid stroke on top of potato or rice…where’s my defibrillator?


“Flavored” What this means… whatever the food you are eating is supposed to be flavored like, it will decidedly not have that flavor. Which is a good lead into the next ad-tastic word…


“Style” Add a word in front of STYLE, and it will immediately become the antithesis of that word. Let me give you a few examples…Home”style” will be nothing like you make at home, Chicago “style” will not be anything like you would have in Chicago…. Don’t believe me?! Go to the freezer section and get yourself a Chicago “style” deep dish pizza, eat it. Now fly to Chicago for an actual Chicago deep dish pizza and eat it. I’ll bet you feel like beating the person who wrote “style” on the frozen pizza box, with a bag of nickles… don’t you? I know I do.


“Authentic” I don’t know about you, but when I’m walking by a can of refried beans… I’m thinking man…I’ll bet that’s just how they’re doin it down in Oaxaca, Mexico….Hey Juan, wait for me, and I’ll bring the crunchy taco shells!


Look… I could go on in perpetuity with these, but I’m not going to unless someone can bring 30 yards of kevlar and five rolls of tape to keep my head from exploding. Advertising really chaps my haggis…all the half truths, The lies, the treating of consumers like dumb asses, the half naked women….OK, the half naked women..maybe not as much. Why not have a little truth in food advertising? Like….like Dudley Moore in “Crazy People” when the character Drucker said
“Metamucil: It helps you go to the toilet. If you don’t use it, you’ll get cancer and die.”
That may be a bit extreme, but here are a few of my ideas…

“Twinkies, so bad for you….but oh so cream filled!” 


“Cherry 7Up… for people who hate real sugar, don’t worry, we’re only using the best quality high fructose corn syrup available baby!”


“Quaker brown sugar and cinnamon oatmeal, for people who don’t mind eating floor sweepings…and  enough sugar to really amp up that pancreatic function!”


Those are just a few of my ideas….I’ve got a million more Madison Avenue, so give me a call and I’ll be happy to help you get your head yanked out of your collective butts…I’ll just be here playing chess with The Cat and drin….uh, taking my medicine.

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6 thoughts on “truth…IN FOOD ADVERTISING

  1. Oh, that's a good one Sarah! There were so many crazy words that had almost no meaning that my head was spinning walking out of the store…tangy, and zesty were two others. Thanks for reading!

  2. I hate that zero trans fat doesn't even mean zero trans fat. So long as their is under .5g they can label it as such. Stupid. It's like allowing up to .5g melamine to pass.

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