Announcing the netroots ad campaign for Real Food
I'm on the plane, supposedly on vacation as of four hours ago, and yet I can't stop thinking about this Hellman's Mayonnaise campaign for "real" food. It really gets my goat that one company spends as much on advertising to associate its shelf-stable, caged-egg-based food product, also known as mayonnaise, than the mighty United States government does to promote farmers markets. (If I had Internet on the plane, I'd look up where the phrase "get my goat" came from.)
I hear the "netroots" have become a force to be reckoned with, that politicians and changemakers are looking to us to see which way the ever-warming wind blows. I propose that we bloggers mount an alternative campaign for Real Food to counter Hellman's. Collectively, we reach as many "eyeballs" in marketing parlance as they do, and I suspect the actual brains behind these retinas know what real food really is.
So: are you up for some true grassroots marketing? Let's claim Real Food for reality-based food communities everywhere. Advertising is just another way to say nothing left to choose. Write your own real-food manifesto, and if you want, put a link to it in the comments section below.
To me, Real Food:
- Grows in the earth, not in a test tube or a petri dish or on an assembly line.
- Comes from animals that have just one bad day in their life (versus living on death row)
- Was grown or made by someone I know, or at least am only a few degrees removed from, not by a machine or someone who has zero interest in knowing me
- Is the product of evolution, not an attempt to hack genetic code that we barely understand
- Is solar-powered, not fossil-fueled
- Offers a symphony of taste, in contrast to factory food, which has just three basic notes — salty, sweet, and/or fatty.
This is Real Food, Exhibit A:
Chicken from Clark Summit Farm in Tomales, CA.
I roasted this chicken with butter, oregano from my herb garden, kosher salt, and pepper. (Annoyingly, I failed to upload the lovely photo of the cooked chicken from home before I left for vacation, but I'll add it later.)
The meat had texture, and dripped with the flavors of sun and grass: it tasted, basically, of life lived. It kicked factory chicken's butt. This chicken is to "nuggets" as silk is to polyester.
Even better, I saw where this chicken lived and scratched and strolled, I know what it ate; Clark Summit raises broiler chickens called Freedom Rangers that really do roam freely after a few weeks in the typical "chicken tractors."
I may have even helped catch the particular one I ate on harvest day. (Did you know that holding a chicken by its feet upside down renders it as placid as a zombie?) While I didn't actually slit its throat while it hung immobilized in the tin cone — deciding to leave that to the people who knew what they were doing — I did help process it: cut off its head and feet once it was dead, pluck the remaining few feathers with pliers, disembowel and de-gland it, then empty the crop and trim the liver and heart. An interesting experience for an ex-vegetarian, although I confess I'd already popped my carnivore cherry a few weeks earlier, watching a beef and pork "harvest." And before you protest the euphemism, as I also did previously, consider that these are animals raised to be food, slaughtered when their meat has reached its peak weight and flavor. What is that, if not ripeness?
This is Real Food, Exhibit B
Deviled eggs: Eggs from Clark Summit Farm, mayonnaise (brand not important), dijon mustard, Fatted Calf bacon, and chives from my herb garden
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