Archive for June, 2012

McDonald’s “Behind Scenes” Video Just Another PR Stunt


Last week McDonald’s Canada posted a video on YouTube entitled, “Behind the scenes at a McDonald’s photo shoot,” which purports to answer a question from a customer on why McDonald’s food looks different in ads than it does in reality. So to answer this question, Hope Bagazzi, director of marketing for McDonald’s Canada takes us on a tour of how the food stylists with the company’s advertising firm prepare a cheeseburger and how that differs from what it really looks like. The idea, so it appears, is to be transparent and honest about how McDonald’s portrays its food in advertisements.

The video has gone viral, inching toward six million views. I even tweeted it myself. But one of my followers who lives in Vancouver, Anne Rosenberg was not fooled. She sent me the following email:

Continue reading →

Media Coverage for Food Stamps, Follow the Money

Last Tuesday, I released a report, Food Stamps, Follow the Money: Are Corporations Profiting From Hungry Americans? I am grateful to each of these media outlets for their coverage.

Continue reading →

Infographic: Food Stamps, Follow the Money

On Tuesday, I published a report about how food companies and banks benefit from the $72 billion food stamp program. For those intimidated by 20 pages (it’s a good read), here is the visual short cut.


Farm Bill Jackpot – How Much do Corporations Benefit from SNAP?

As Congress proposes cuts to hungry families, my new report raises questions about how much food makers, retailers, and big banks profit from food stamps.

With the debate over the 2012 Farm Bill currently underway in the Senate, most of the media’s attention has been focused on how direct payments—subsidies doled out regardless of actual farming—are being replaced with crop insurance, in a classic shell game that Big Ag’s powerful lobby is likely to pull off.

Meanwhile, the Senate may hurt the less powerful by cutting $4.5 billion from the largest piece of the farm bill pie: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps). Reducing this lifeline for 46 million struggling Americans (more than 1 in 7—nearly half of them children) has become a sideshow in the farm bill circus, even though SNAP spending grew to $78 billion in 2011, and is projected to go higher if the economy does not improve.

Continue reading →

Press Release: Food Stamp Subsidies for Junk Food Makers, Big Box Retailers, and Banks?

Contact: Haven Bourque       415.505.3473


As 2012 Farm Bill debate rages in Congress, a new report demands SNAP program transparency

Oakland, CA, June 12, 2012 — Are food stamps lining the pockets of the nation’s wealthiest corporations instead of closing the hunger gap in the United States? Why does Walmart benefit from more than $200 million in annual food stamp purchases in Oklahoma alone? Why does one bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, hold exclusive contracts in 24 states to administer public benefits?

Continue reading →

Your Burger Just Got a Little Safer, Thanks to Uncle Sam

After years of debating, petitioning, rule-making, and outright stalling, this week the federal government is finally implementing new requirements for testing E. coli in ground beef. Why is this cause for celebration?

Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

Mercury Bigger Worry than Radiation in Tuna

Few things get a media frenzy going like the combination of two words: radiation and food. Despite the ubiquitous availability of truly unhealthy foods 24/7, just raise the specter of radioactivity on our plates, and people suddenly get very serious about what they are eating. And the media fans the flames.

Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

New York City to Add Soft Drinks to List of Health Hazards

Last week, New York City showed the nation once again what it means to be on the cutting edge of public health policy. The city announced a bold plan to limit the size of sugary beverages sold at restaurants and other food establishments. Predictably, much of the media went crazy, and numerous outlets have already proclaimed that this time, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just gone too far. Banning trans fats was fine, but don’t take away my right to guzzle a gallon of Coke is the lazy reaction of some pundits.

Continue reading →

Join Email List

Speaking Requests

Media Requests

Contact Michele Simon:


  • 2016 (4)
  • 2015 (20)
  • 2014 (41)
  • 2013 (67)
  • 2012 (70)
  • 2011 (53)
  • 2010 (49)