Co-optation of the week: Kraft and community gardening

It’s hard not to overuse the descriptor Orwellian, but the food industry often leaves me no choice. This story in Brandchannel explains how Kraft Foods is “supporting” community gardening through its Triscuit crackers. As the article describes:

Kraft is making an unusually large commitment to the concept of home farming by offering free basil and dill herb seed cards on four million Triscuit boxes. The brand is also sponsoring an educational website with a wealth of information on how to start a home garden and how to find local community farms.

Even more scary, the phrase “community farms” links to a Kraft web page that invites us to “join the movement” of “home farms” (a phrase new to me) and claims to be partnering with a nonprofit called Urban Farming. No wonder, since their supporters include other massive members of Corporate America such as Home Depot and Starbucks.

Where to even begin? A multinational food conglomerate promoting community gardening? That’s like the WTO promoting local currency. Seeds with your Triscuits? Is Kraft really the best source for seeds?

And let’s take a gander at the food ingredients in a Triscuit cracker, shall we? HereWHOLE WHEAT, SOYBEAN AND/OR PALM OIL, MALTODEXTRIN, SALT, SPICES (INCLUDES ROSEMARY), MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE (FLAVOR ENHANCER), ONION POWDER, NATURAL FLAVOR, OLIVE OIL.
  
Funny how there are no instructions on Kraft’s “home farming” website about exactly how one can grow maltodextrin or monosodium glutamate or even onion powder or palm oil (and/or soybean oil) in one’s backyard. But hey, free seeds could get the company to move those four million cracker boxes faster, not to mention garner some positive PR.

This just in: My friend (upon seeing the story) wants to know: But how do I grow Triscuits?

2 Responses to “Co-optation of the week: Kraft and community gardening”

  1. knitwit says:

    I don't grow Triscuits, but I do make my own crackers, which is quick and easy to do and lots of fun too! They only have whole wheat flour, olive oil, water and a bit of the large crystal salt sprinkled on top.

    You are, of course, correct to note that this is just marketing–of the image sort– and has little to do with the nutritional value of the product

  2. nancy says:

    Not to mention the addictive qualities of the ingredients, as more and more research is revealing. Insidious! As a start, there's David Kessler's "The End of Overeating."

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