Currently Browsing: Advertising

Helping out the Milk Board’s new PMS campaign

The California Milk Processor's Board, which brought us the Got Milk? campaign, urges men this week to tell their cranky, about-to-menstruate women: "You really need to drink more milk." Men can get their PMS education on a new website "Everything I Do Is Wrong." Women may find the site confusing at first...

Farming groups resort to Machiavellian defense of indefensible practices

Spin-dustrial ag: Two dozen of the nation's largest and best-funded farm groups have formed a coalition to counter poor publicity, reports the AP (LAtimes.com). What are they mad about? "Videos that show male chicks being put into grinders, egg-laying hens in battery cages and the mistreatment of hogs in...

Voluntary effort to shift children's advertising deemed unsuccessful

Ad news bears: Three years ago, a group of large food and beverage companies launched a voluntary initiative to change their advertising during TV programs favored by children. They were supposed to advertise more healthy foods and drinks, and fewer nutritionally deficient ones. Not surprisingly, the...

Checking in on the agricultural check-off programs

Standing in front of a 50-foot tall display of potatoes, mushrooms, beef jerky, and other agricultural products at the 2009 All-American Farm Expo in Modesto, CA recently, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recalled his recent trip to Idaho — America's land of potatoes — and his shock at hearing that many...

Missing the middle: French fries do get fat

The McDonald's billboard pictured above sent the needle on my BS-o-meter into the red when I saw it hovering atop a row of sparkling Victorians in San Francisco's Mission District while out on a walk with the San Francisco City Guides (one of the finest local history and culture organizations in the...

Sick to our stomachs: Food industry spent $1.6 billion to influence children in 2006

Last November, I wrote about the appointment of eating psychology expert Brian Wansink to a key post at the USDA. I applauded his nomination but noted that his office — and the entire federal government — is vastly outspent by the food industry. I cited data from Marion Nestle's "Food Politics" that the...

I can read you like a cook: A review of “Kitchen Literacy”

As the local-food movement broadens and more people find pleasure in shopping at the local farmers markets and/or in growing their own produce, we find more folks 'fessing up to their lack of expertise. How do you know when a fruit or vegetable is ripe? What's the difference between various cuts of meat?...

Safeway’s unintentional commentary on modern tomatoes

Safeway is running ads declaring that their tomatoes are "robust," a word that makes me think of strength and resilience, two qualities that should have nothing to do with burstingly juicy red orbs. These characteristics, however, are ridiculously common in tomatoes sold in the United States. Tomatoes need...

Bringing a wet noodle to a gun fight: The USDA’s Brian Wansink vs. Big Food’s ads

The other day I got a press release from the USDA (PDF) announcing that Brian Wansink had been appointed the Executive Director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP): Dr. Wansink will be responsible for overseeing the planning, development and review of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for...