Author Topic: Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) anti-science propaganda campaign.  (Read 202 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline drproximo

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 154
  • fnord
    • blaugh
Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) anti-science propaganda campaign.
« on: August 10, 2019, 12:25:52 PM »
So, this is really really old news, but nothing has changed so it's still worth posting about. Over a year ago, I started ranting on Twitter and Facebook about a new advertising campaign from Maple Leaf Foods. The set up was a spelling bee, and people of all ages were having trouble spelling/pronouncing all the scary science words they were being given. Then the pleasant voiceover announced, essentially, that Maple Leaf products are now better because the ingredients are easy to pronounce.

Many problems with this of course, but let me run through the basics:

First of all, one of the words that tripped up the participants was sodium. SODIUM. YOU CANNOT FIND AN ENGLISH SPELLING BEE IN THE REAL WORLD IN WHICH MORE THAN ONE PARTICIPANT WILL HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE WORD "SODIUM". EVERYONE EATS SODIUM EVERY DAY IT'S NOT SPOOKY OR DANGEROUS YOU FUCKWITS.

Second, of course, is that whether or not someone as difficulty pronouncing an ingredient tells you precisely nothing about how good or healthy or tasty foods with that ingredient might be.

Third, the one and only time they responded to my rants on Twitter, they gave me a dismissive version "this is what our customers asked for". So they are literally not only pandering to ignorance, but they are condoning and elevating and perpetuating that ignorance. This is exactly the same mentality that leads to anti-GMO sentiment which is barely a step removed from anti-vaccine... AND ONE OF CANADA'S BIGGEST FOOD PRODUCERS IS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THIS PERPETUATION OF IGNORANCE.

So, is there any possibility to get them to fucking cut it out? Is there any hope that sometime this century they will devote themselves to EDUCATING the public on food science and safety, rather than just MAKING THINGS FUCKING WORSE? I would love to take part in some sort of boycott/pressure campaign, but only if I thought it might actually have an effect. I've been screaming into the void (a poetic way of saying nobody reads my Twitter) for years, it doesn't make me feel any better about things if it does literally nothing to change anything.
"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."

 - Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9094
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) anti-science propaganda campaign.
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2019, 03:22:55 PM »
I agree with your rant on hard-to-pronounce ingredient names.

I Disagree on the issue of sodium. The recommended maximum amount of sodium is something like 2,200 mg/day. Most people, at least in the developed world, consume many times more than this. If you do not have high blood pressure you can safely eat a lot more sodium than the recommendation (though many people are unaware that they have high BP). If, like me, you have high blood pressure and have been told to limit your sodium to 2,000 mg/day (basically the recommended daily maximum for everyone) it is nearly impossible to find packaged foods in the store. A lot of foods I used to enjoy have a third of my allowed sodium in one ridiculously undersized "portion."

Food companies put WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too much sodium in nearly everything, and with the exception of a few canned vegetables available in no-sodium versions, most of the supermarket is now off-limits to me. And I cannot eat in restaurants at all any more because of the huge quantity of salt they put in everything. I can buy potassium chloride (brand name No-Salt) in the grocery store, but there are no packaged foods made with potassium instead of sodium for those of us who must limit our intake of it.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline drproximo

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 154
  • fnord
    • blaugh
Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) anti-science propaganda campaign.
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2019, 04:05:36 PM »
If I wrote an essay debunking all the lies that PETA tells about milk, and part of my summary was something like "so don't worry, it's still safe to drink", would it be reasonable for people with lactose intolerance to tell me I'm wrong because I spoke in general terms? Seriously, I'm wondering how far you think this goes, should every commentary on battling food bullshit have a dozen asterisks on it with caveats about every condition or disorder some people might have which prevents them from enjoying that food?

I'm sorry that this is a difficult issue in your life, but I don't think your quarrel is with me.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 04:11:41 PM by drproximo »
"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."

 - Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Online brilligtove

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7617
  • Ignorance can be cured. Stupidity, you deal with.
Re: Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) anti-science propaganda campaign.
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2019, 05:55:24 PM »
I cut the cable and other cords long ago, so I'm not aware of most advertising, so I didn't know about Maple Leaf. Are these ads still running?
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9094
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) anti-science propaganda campaign.
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2019, 06:05:12 PM »
If I wrote an essay debunking all the lies that PETA tells about milk, and part of my summary was something like "so don't worry, it's still safe to drink", would it be reasonable for people with lactose intolerance to tell me I'm wrong because I spoke in general terms? Seriously, I'm wondering how far you think this goes, should every commentary on battling food bullshit have a dozen asterisks on it with caveats about every condition or disorder some people might have which prevents them from enjoying that food?

I'm sorry that this is a difficult issue in your life, but I don't think your quarrel is with me.

For me personally, sodium is a difficult issue.

But regardless, the amount of sodium in much of our processed food is an order of magnitude over the maximum recommended consumption level. The unpronounceable ingredients are a woo-peddler's fetish. The quantity of sodium used by restaurants and food manufacturers is known by medical science to be unhealthy. And while it's true that people without high blood pressure can get away with it, the accepted recommendation is that nobody should be consuming that much.

And I have no quarrel with you. I merely disagree with the characterization of sodium as harmless. I apologize if my comments came across as personal.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline drproximo

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 154
  • fnord
    • blaugh
Re: Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) anti-science propaganda campaign.
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2019, 06:50:53 PM »
I merely disagree with the characterization of sodium as harmless.

That is a mischaracterization of what I said, and your reiteration makes me wonder if you even read my response. Whether or not sodium is "harmless" or harmful depends on the amount and the person. Like everything else on an average ingredients list. Sodium was the example I picked because it was part of what made the ads so dishonest, but the overall idea applies to all the other stuff on those lists. The toxicity depends on the dose. Me saying that sodium is present in loads of foods that millions people eat every day without ill effects is true, and it's also true for the other stuff. The fact that some foods contain too much sodium doesn't invalidate what I said. The fact that some people have a much lower tolerance for sodium than others doesn't invalidate what I said. Remove your personal attachment to this issue and pretend we're talking about sugar or MSG or fat. All things that are present in a variety of healthy foods, all things that can be harmful in large quantities, all things that have been unfairly demonized by reactionary hipsters and scam artist food gurus. It's not a binary, there's something in between "this is harmless eat all you want" and "this is poison don't ever consume any".

Again, you seem to be arguing against something I simply didn't say, and I'm not sure why you have such a binary view on it.
"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."

 - Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Offline drproximo

  • Not Enough Spare Time
  • **
  • Posts: 154
  • fnord
    • blaugh
Re: Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) anti-science propaganda campaign.
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2019, 06:52:30 PM »
A mantra of mine that definitely applies here:

Arsenic is all-natural.
Dog shit is organic.
Water is a chemical.
"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life."

 - Jack Kerouac, On The Road

Online brilligtove

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7617
  • Ignorance can be cured. Stupidity, you deal with.
Re: Maple Leaf Foods (Canada) anti-science propaganda campaign.
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2019, 08:37:12 PM »
It is shockingly easy to scare people over DHMO.
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't

Online brilligtove

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 7617
  • Ignorance can be cured. Stupidity, you deal with.
evidence trumps experience | performance over perfection | responsibility – authority = scapegoat | emotions motivate; data doesn't