The “Skinny Bitch” sent me a copy of her latest cookbook, and I needed help digesting its contents.

Produce advertising could benefit from attitude

Chuck Robinson
Assistant Copy Chief

The help I found were cooks in my extended family who prepared the big holiday feast meals.

The book is “Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook” by Kim Barnouin.

Though the language in this book is tame compared to her breakout cookbook of a few years ago, “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch,” Barnouin retains her appealing brashness.

In her introductory chapters, she lays much of the woes of the world at the feet of commercial meat factory farms.

“You want to do something? Start kicking meat and dairy to the curb. Toodles. Aidos. Au revoir. Screw off,” she writes.

The author was able to move the center of debate away from her veganism and to her upper white-trash style.

The recipes seemed to be a hit with my family experts, and it is quite possible there will be some new additions to next year’s Thanksgiving feast, such as a summer squash fritters or kale with peanut dressing.

She loses me in her politics and the confusion about organics and local food.

She certainly gives the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list of produce grown with pesticides too much play, and her numerous footnotes mostly come from biased Web articles.

While the politics makes my eyes cross, it is the attitude I like. I would like to see more of that attitude in marketing fruits and vegetables.

The local supermarket produce department is a family-oriented affair, to be sure, but it seems like the audiences for every mass market communications media are a quite different breed.

The big wide Internet is a complex web of tiny, specific audiences, and each of us poke around with our blinders on.

Can produce marketing be immune to this trend? To stand out in a sea of green bagged salads, why not a Skinny Bitch giving a fisheye to passersby?

I remember the Royal Rose radicchio campaign in 2002 with the slogan “radicchio bites back.” That tangy riposte to often bland produce marketing helped the product stand out.

Fulton, N.Y.-based New York Bold LLC, a consortium of New York state growers, began in 2001 promoting “onions with attitude.”

What a great way to stand out. Onions should taste like onions, if you ask me.

They have some Skinny Bitch attitude, and I think it would work for more produce items.


Do you think fresh produce needs a feistier presence in the marketplace? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.