Disparate things that go together

Two items crossing my screen in the past couple of days illustrate the fabulously roiled field of food and food politics.

First, my pal Deborah Lapidus at Corporate Accountability International wrote to ask that I add my voice against the corporate food lobby's attempt in Arizona to prevent local cities and towns from even proposing laws that would impede marketing of junk food to children.

I'm not eating at the 99

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The 99 is a medium-sized chain of basic American food eateries that's been around Greater Boston for ages. Up 'til now, it was never my first choice but I was willing to stop there if it seemed the best option in whatever strip mall I found myself in.

But until it takes down its current "craveworthy" ads, I will find somewhere else, and I will probably switch away from the radio station running them (98.5 The Sports Hub, I'm thinking of you). That's probably not the reaction they were going for.

Bob Hedlund: “It’s obviously not going to solve itself..."

As a new restaurant owner and assistant minority leader of the Massachusetts Senate, BOB HEDLUND, 49, of Weymouth is well situated to comment on politics and food. After I read his comments in the Boston Globe recently — especially that “the marketplace should determine what’s on restaurant menus, not the First Lady of the United States” — I asked if we could talk. Regular readers will recognize the format: questions and answers of 10 words or less. Please, no counting; it’s a goal, not a rule, and besides, let’s see you do it.

State Sen. Bob HedlundThe name of your restaurant: “Four Square.”

Where is it? “Weymouth Landing, Braintree.”

What kind of a place is it? “Beer and wine, with a very diverse menu.”

What’s your favorite dish, personally? “Beer.”

Have you ever had a weight problem? “No.”

Please rank obesity as a national problem, on a scale of 1-10: “Between a 7 and an 8.”

Do we need a solution for it? “It’s obviously not going to solve itself, but the answer does not lie solely with government.”

Taco Bell's PR campaign

I'll never forget the day in San Diego, in 2007, when I stopped into a Taco Bell (because I needed a bathroom) and saw its marketing banner touting "Fourth Meal," its bid to institutionalize a midnight meal into the American ethic. It remains a monument in my thinking to marketing brazenness, and I will never take TB seriously again.

Fake blueberries

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The LA Times reports that "blueberries" in your cereal, or bagel, or muffin might be something quite a bit less: "Nothing more than a concoction of sugar, corn syrup, starch, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors and — of course — artificial food dye blue No. 2 and red No. 40."

The paper was reporting research by the nonprofit Consumer Wellness Center.


Subscribe to RSS - commerce