I’ve been reading the excellent report, “Kids Unbranded,” created by the Center for the New American Dream, and hope you will too. It does a wonderful job both stating the problems created by commercial exploitation of children and offering tactics that individuals can use to fight that exploitation.
One of the great things about attending professional conferences is the exposures and connections that I didn’t go looking for.
I've written several times that marketing to children is a particularly low form of commercial behavior, made worse than it intrinsically is because it is so completely, so blithely accepted — to the point that such marketing is tax deductible.
In a previous post, I waded into the lives of Wisconsin news reader Jennifer Livingston and the unkind words addressed to her by a viewer, Kenneth Krause. As I said then, my inclination was to skip by it because I am constitutionally averse to the predictable, and my impression was that this was that.
But the more I considered, I realized that Livingston’s on-air retort, and the groundswell of support for her, were obscuring issues that were better off aired.
Ask anyone, and “protecting our kids” is one of our highest values — we have child endangerment laws, and even well into their teens, we ignore their “consent” for some behaviors because we don’t think they’re old enough to know better.
But we only worry about intrusions on their bodies, not their minds.
Scant blogging lately as I give attention to other things. It's just temporary.
But in the meantime, here's my latest Globe story on food from a sustainability perspective, or is it sustainability from a food perspective?
Yes, the Globe story is one of the "other things" I've been giving my attention to.
I wrote about food in the Concord schools (and Concord Carlisle High School) for the Boston Globe in a story published this morning. Led by Alden Cadwell, a top adviser to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution when the show made its splash in Huntington, W.Va., the district has a goal of making all food from scratch within five years, and sourcing at least 30 percent of its ingredients from local farms within that same window.
A question that keeps recurring: Why are the free-speech rights of corporations more important than our shared imperative to protect children?
No rights are absolute, as exemplified by falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater, as expressed by Oliver Wendell Holmes in a 1919 Supreme Court case. In the larger sense, there are very few absolutes in a world colored in shades of gray, anyway.
Corporate Accountability International has just released a policy guide on marketing of fast food to children, which is an outgrowth of its Value The Meal campaign, which I have supported both financially and by hosting a house meeting to spread the idea to friends.