food movement takeover

while at the bar last week eating food with ma, and doing my damndest to pay attention to her and not the tv behind her (since we don’t have a television anytime one is on i find myself magically drawn to it) i saw this triscuit ad for its new program “the home farming movement”.  i perked up and took a note to look it up, when i had a chance.

for whatever reason it took me awhile to look it up, i was only reminded when i was listening to an audio recording i made with wayne, myrtle and kezia from feedom freedom that i was reminded.  in that conversation they mention that wendy’s now has french fries with sea salt on them, and that coca cola had sponsored a rain water catchment system at a garden on jefferson ave. look for a forth coming article based on this conversation.

when i went to investigate sure enough wendy’s is offering “naturally cut” fries with sea salt.  further investigation proves feedom freedom growers right again, a garden on jefferson ave. has  a rain water catchment system sponsored by coke.  as though a rainwater catchment system for a vegetable garden in any way makes up for all the high fructose corn syrup they are pumping into our communities.  as though it makes up for the executions in colombia?  as though it makes up for the lowering of water tables in areas near its bottling plants.  what garden would want to partner with a company with such a terrible track record.

not much surprise its urban farming™ I  have been frustrated on numerous occasions by urban farmings™ willingness to take almost any corporate sponsorship with little regard for the track record.  it doesn’t help the organization is called urban farming™ and that they have trademarked the term urban farming.  i just find that in poor taste since it’s a phase people have been using long before they came on the scene.

i know what you are thinking – pot, where does your funding at work come from?should you be calling the kettle out?  fair enough, fair enough.  but i can honestly say that my workplace does have moral standards for investing and who they solicit donations from, but for all i know though we could be getting donations from coca cola.  i don’t know what happens in the development office.

but we got started on this whole think with triscuits, a cracker made by nabisco which is a subsidiary of kraft, the one of largest food company in the usa, and their new campaign the “home farming movement“.  kraft  seems to want to move the wildly popular farmville game into backyards and get people actually growing – a good thing.  farmville has certainly proved that folks have a much larger virtual taste for farming with over 80 million users than real farming  with less than one million folks making their livelihood from.  on the home farming page you can post pictures, ask questions, and network with others,  not unlike what i do here, but without the content control that i have.  my real issue with this is the term movement.  movements are not spurred by corporations with massive product placement and branding, they are a creation of people.  certainly the food movement is gaining momentum without organizations like kraft trying to rebrand their image.  i could go without them.  i see this as yet another act of social washing to make a company look good, and with plenty of product placement.  and kraft certainly isn’t going to talk about the broader social political issues of this work, or turn the finger on itself and point out how its own products are fat laden, commodity dependent, over processed non-foods.  exactly the sort of products that this “backyard farmer”  it fighting against.

on another note, and one of corporate sponsorship, the screening of a new documentary about detroit urban ag. is taking place at eastern market on the 9th of june.  it’s a double feature.  the first show is lunch line at 6pm and then at 8pm urban roots   it is sponsored by whole foods.  say what you will.  urban roots includes scene from many of our favorite detroit farms, and farmers, including yours truly i’m told.


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