by Youth Programs Intern Reece Trevor
A few days ago, Cecily posted a piece on the Slow Food USA blog about Monsanto’s rather disingenuous efforts to market a commitment to sustainability on public radio shows. Monsanto’s radio spots are the latest in a long string of corporate attempts to “green-wash” their products and actions by spending lots of money on glitzy environmentally-themed public relations efforts even as they continue to conduct business as usual. Green-washing seems to grow more and more rampant by the week, so I thought I’d throw in my two cents.
My two Canadian cents, that is. Earlier this summer, Hellmann’s (of mayonnaise fame) launched a web site called Eat Real, Eat Local. It’s a slick flash-based site designed to “educate” Canadians about the importance of eating locally-grown foods. The site’s centerpiece is an animated short highlighting, for the most part, Canada’s considerable food trade deficit. Hellmann’s frames the issue primarily in economic terms, often veering towards the nationalistic as well with its portrayals of hard-working Canadian farmers losing out to foreign producers.
Okay, fair enough. Economics is certainly a viable component of locavorism. But then the movie fades, and a brave little jar of mayonnaise—you’ll never guess what brand—appears at the head of a mighty phalanx of broccoli, carrots, and beets. Have no fear, good people of Canada! Hellmann’s cares, and they’re here to save you from the corporate masterminds who want to corrupt your nation’s food system!