Ridiculous Press Release Tuesday

I’m not making this up

I’m getting so many off-target press releases clogging my inbox that I’ve decided to share them until the publicists who send them get a clue and actually spend some time reading this blog. One release in particular should get an award for crassness.

The American Dietetic Association has, apparently, teamed up with industrial food giant ConAgra (am I the only person who sees that pairing as a conflict of interest?) to bring us a condescending website about home food safety that I won’t link to so as not to give them free publicity. The ADA is promising bloggers a chance at winning a free iPad or Starbucks gift card for pimping a food safety website that includes things like the “cookie rookie pledge.” The pledge, aimed at kids, suggests “Wait until cookies are ooey-gooey and fully baked before digging in, ” and “Remind grown-ups to use two separate cutting boards for raw meat, like turkey, and ready-to-eat-foods like carrot sticks.”

At the risk of losing the chance to win that iPad, I can’t resist suggesting a few food safety tips for their corporate partner ConAgra: give your poultry space, sunshine and monitor their health. Compost their waste in a thermophilic (hot) compost pile. Follow these several thousand year old farming concepts and maybe we wouldn’t need the “cookie rookie pledge.” According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, ConAgra ran the most salmonella infested turkey plant in the country. The CSPI also has a nice rundown of what other food giants are in bed with the ADA.

The good news is that we can take yesterday’s stoic flow chart to heart and develop an entirely parallel food system by growing as much of our own food as we can. We might also–and I want to hear from parents on hard this would be to do–try to run this propaganda out of our schools. Perhaps it’s just time to settle down and develop some of our own memes. I have a feeling they’ll spread better, in this internet age, than the work of the ADA’s publicists.

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  1. We could start a meme called:

    “You don’t know where it’s been.
    Do not touch big corporate food or put it in your mouth, because you don’t know where it’s been.”

  2. The whole “tell your parents” bit bothers me, especially coming from a group that is irresponsible with our food handling. Next, will they suggest children report infractions, turning parents who do not comply? Besides, I have eaten or licked raw dough all my life.

  3. One of our doctors told us to “stay out of the aisles” when shopping…. Meaning don’t buy anything that has been pre-prepared. I’m starting to think that needs to be changed to stay out of the big grocery store all together. As parents we need to have our children involved in our food prep and buying. Teaching them as we go why we choose what we choose and do what we do. We are blessed to live in an area where there is access to local growers who are open about how they grow things. We are learning to garden (year two for me with 50/50 success… lots to learn) and involve our children in that too. Children are not stupid. If they see you actively researching and sharing your findings with them, they figure out real quick you are smarter than anything they get from school.

  4. Although I am a parent, I’m going to refrain from comment on the “how easy to get out of the schools” question…after working as a public school health aide…and doing some research…I’ve decided to homeschool.

    But I wanted to share a convo that happened in my car about a year ago, after taking my kids to the park with a friend of mine…
    “Are you guys hungry?” she asked the kids. “I have a few bucks if you want to drive-thru McDonald’s, my treat,” she said to me. Immediately, my then 4-year-old son piped up, “We don’t eat that kind of stuff. It’s not good for you because it’s not *real* food. McDonald’s is for lazy people who don’t care.”

    The ADA could learn a few things from my kiddos 😉

  5. I worked in an elementary school for three years, and seeing what’s being fed to our kids was truly disheartening. Especially the kids I worked with, who were physically and developmentally disabled. Studies show that children with conditions like Autism and some behavior disorders benefit enormously from foods that are free of additives and dyes, yet day after day I saw my student (who was almost 200lbs in second grade) eating dyed rice “breakfast bars” glued together with sugar. look up “super bun”. It’ll break your heart. Until we have kids literally dropping dead from this stuff we aren’t going to see a change. And even then, knowing how some schools run, I’m not very reassured. There is a teacher though who’s trying to do something about it, she eats and documents the exact lunch every day that’s served to the kids: http://fedupwithschoollunch.blogspot.com/

  6. Holly, thanks for that link.

    Erik, as a nurse and diabetic I am dishearted that the ADA has choosen this path. Not surprised just disapointed. Thank you for the post.
    I have to wonder in the end when the majority of America is dead from our modern dietary lifestyle who will be their consumers?

    On a side note I get press releases for motorized tillers and fancy electric kitchen gadgets, like you I wonder if they have ever read my blog or realize that I am ghetto amish.

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