It ticks me off to see snack cracker marketers stealing what should be the thunder of the produce industry.

Real food pretenders grab health spotlight

Chuck Robinson
Media Watch

Triscuit crackers — Triscuit crackers — was the lead sponsor of the nonprofit Detroit-based group Urban Farming’s plan to build inner city community gardens in Chicago, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Detroit and Tampa, Fla.

That announcement was made April 12, which they declared Home Farming Day.

The idea is to bring healthful, nutritious food to food deserts and promote healthier eating by low-income citizens.

I suggest those citizens don’t need encouragement to eat another fistful of crackers, even if the crackers are whole grain.

I agree with marketers who say behind the push for locally produced food is a yearning for more authentic, real food.

Whole food

“Focus on the whole food, not just the ingredients. Focus on the people behind the product — the farmers, the growers. The movement is toward real food, not synthetics,” Melissa Abbott, director of culinary insights for market research company Hartman Group, Seattle, said in a Marketing Daily article titled “Why Americans Ignore The Food Pyramid."

The mass-produced Triscuit doesn’t fit at all well with the anti-synthetic sentiment.

Other sponsors of Urban Farming endeavors include Coca-Cola, which also ticks me off, but the soft drink marketer is donating used soft drink syrup containers for rain barrels at community gardens.

I use some 275-gallon plastic soft drink syrup containers for rain barrels at home, so I am down with that.

Still, Coke is elbowing in to grab some of that golden halo effect of being associated with urban farming and real food.

Real food, like what is in every grocery store produce department in every city and town in North America.

Of course, local producers can feel threatened by bigger companies coming in to sponsor events and offering better-looking, safer and cheaper produce items.

Opportunity awaits

However, groups like Urban Farming have their hands out looking for sponsors, and they are willing to take money from Kraft Foods, makers of Triscuit crackers, and Coca-Cola.

It is more than likely they would embrace a sponsor that produced real food.

Encourage home gardeners and local producers to try their hand at growing what they can for their tables.

In the end, they will figure out it is tougher than sticking a seed in the ground, and they will be glad someone is sticking the seeds in the ground year-round.

Produce companies should take back their thunder.

E-mail crobinson@thepacker.com

Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment and tell us your opinion.