Letter: Consumers easily misguided by food production marketing
As consumers, most of us are three to four generations removed from the farm with degrees in, arts, business, law, communications, education, etc. These are great degrees, but they provide no knowledge of food production. As a result, most consumers are vulnerable to misguided perspectives on food production in marketing campaigns such as Chipotle’s.
“Now it’s no secret that Chipotle is no friend to America’s famers. They have repeatedly thrown farmers under the bus.” These are the words of Wanda Patsche, a family pork producer from Minnesota (mnfarmliving.com/about-me). Wanda is a great example of what American farming is all about. Wanda is a mom – a consumer just like you, but also has a passion for producing high quality food for others. Farmers like Wanda care deeply about their animals and the environment. And they use production methods consistent with this commitment. They employ the highest standards because they are also consumers of the products they produce! Without the highest possible standards, they would go out of business. This is the norm, not the exception.
As consumers, we are easily enticed by romanticized marketing campaigns, which project high integrity and morals, with promises to bring us food produced by “higher standards.” Are these claims of “higher standards” real? We, as consumers, have no reference point for claims such as these, and we rely on our perceived integrity of the company making the claims.
Currently Chipotle’s integrity is being called into question. They face a lawsuit over false claims regarding biotechnology products and Chipotle’s romanticized healthy claims image. You can see these challenges to Chipotle at:
How do we know what to believe about today’s food production? Indiana residents have a unique opportunity to learn what food production is really like by visiting Fair Oaks Farms (fofarms.com/about-us). It is worth the trip!