Tuesday, January 26, 2010

What If The Label Said: Genie In a Bottle, Three Wishes.

There has been a decades long debate in America about whether corporations respond to consumers or if consumers are simply convinced to purchase whatever corporations produce. This is a difficult chicken and egg scenario. I'm not trying to suggest that I know, in fact I often find myself lured in by packaging. The type of packaging that regularly gets me usually involves reading the ingredients list, however, which is not the kind of false labeling that most think of when discussing this issue.

Fashion is obviously one sector that shows how consumers are swayed by the look of a product. If it wasn't, models wouldn't be stick figures. But the issue extends to so many aspects of life. Some parents wont let their children watch commercials on TV to avoid the problem entirely. But almost no one can avoid purchasing food (obviously economically challenged communities are discluded). So the question becomes, if we have issues with the way food is produced or presented in our country, what are we willing to do about it? Beyond that, how much do our demands mean to producers? I mean, Monsanto is a supporter of NPR, so clearly big Ag is ingrained in our communities. You could possibly be thinking, "Oh whatever, I don't have time for this". But what if you found out this was a major problem in your child's school? Even if you don't have children, do you know what kid's eat in school?

"Overcooked vegetables, as well as those served plain and raw, are rejected by students. Children are served Pop Tarts and Goldfish “Giant Grahams” for breakfast, along with flavored milks that rival Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew for sugar content. Scrambled eggs are manufactured with 11 ingredients and shipped frozen and virtually flavorless from Minnesota."

- The Slow Cook, January 26, 2010

Personally, I was not upset by the vegetable part, not shocked by the Pop Tarts or Goldfish or even all that annoyed by the flavored milk but eggs with eleven ingredients? Are you kidding me? Unless these kids are consuming breakfast in a simulation of that Will Smith movie (that scared the crap out of me) I can't imagine why their eggs need to have eleven ingredients.

So the question is the same be it fashion or food: What are we willing to demand from corporations?

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