Corn Flacks, pt. 1: “What’s in your whipped cream?”
I have read hundreds of PR pitches in my time; first at the Red Herring, the dot-com magazine where I worked during the boom, then as a freelance business writer, and now for the Ethicurean. There are some super-savvy public-relations firms out there, like Straus Communications (which represents Bon Appetit Management Co., CAFF, and "King Corn") and Shev Rush Public Relations (a good friend who reps Estancia grass-fed beef): both write great pitches, represent interesting clients, and (shocking!) actually read the publications they target.
But as the Ethicurean has grown, we have started to get some really off-the-wall e-mails from food-industry PR people. I can no longer resist publishing the most head-scratching of them, with the identifying information compassionately removed.
SUBJECT: What's in your whipped cream?
My name is [name withheld] and I work for [a division of Con-Agra Foods]. We pay pretty close attention to your posts, so we wanted to send you a quick heads-up about something we thought you might find interesting.
One of these whipped creams is made with real cream, and the other is made with a cocktail of hydrogenated oil, water and synthetic ingredients. Can you guess which is which?
Most consumers can’t either, but there's actually is a big difference. Check out what’s in the one on the right. Reddi-wip (on the left), on the other hand, is made with real cream.
I’m here if you have any questions….
[PR Agency Name Also Withheld]
His link goes to a funny Wired article titled "Cool Whip: A delicious blend of sugar, wax, and condom lube," by Patrick di Justo, whose gig listing the origins of food additives is one I highly covet.
What PR Dude does not mention in his e-mail to the Ethicurean is that in addition to "real" cream, Reddi-wip Extra Creamy is made with a lot of the same stuff as Cool Whip, and if they'd paid a smidgen of attention, we're not big fans of "machine cuisine" here at the Ethicurean. (That's a phrase I learned last night.) Con-Agra doesn't list the ingredients on its Reddi-wip site, but Dietfacts.com does. Reddi-wip Extra Creamy also boasts "non-fat milk solids, sugar, mono- and diglycerides, carrageenan, artificial flavor, nitrous oxide (propellant)," and Reddi-wip Original follows cream with "nonfat milk, corn syrup, sugar, mono- and diglycerides, natural and artificial flavors, carrageenan, nitrous oxide (propellant)."
I am not a food scientist nor do I have any interest in becoming one. If I want whipped cream I take cream, add a pinch of sugar, and whip it with an immersion blender for all of 45 seconds. Amazingly, it tastes fine without any diglycerides or carrageenan, a thickener derived from seaweed using powerful solvents and also used in air freshener gels and shoe polish.
I'm just sayin'...
And no, this is not an April Fool's!
No related posts.