Beware- Local Food is Getting a New Definition

The advent of the "green" movement has seen an uprise in the attention paid to small, local farmers and restaurants. Whether people truly believe in eating locally for health and political reasons, or they just want to be a part of the hippest trend, the focus on local food vendors is giving box stores and big brands a bad name. Frito-Lay (owned by PepsiCo.) has decided to fight back, however, and argue that they too are a small-town brand, made and manufactured locally. Wait...what? This seems to be yet another case of "activist beware..."

According to the Times article published yesterday, "Frito-Lay is one of several big companies that, along with some large-scale farming concerns, are embracing a broad interpretation of what eating locally means. This mission creep has the original locavores choking on their yerba mate. But food executives who measure marketing budgets in the millions say they are mining the concept because consumers care more than ever about where their food comes from." The greasy chip behemoth will begin a nation-wide commercial campaign next week to show just how fresh and locally-produced their products are. Well, I can't say that I'm surprised. After GE arguing that they are the strongest researchers of green energy alternatives ( what they deem ecomagination), and BP changing their acronym to mean "Beyond Petroleum," rather than "British Petroleum," I'm no longer that taken aback when a large company argues that it's everything it's not.

This is just one more example of how all people, and especially donors, should be on the lookout for greenwashing scams and false advertising. Big businesses are just that- businesses, focused on making money. They'll do anything they need to do to reach that end most effectively, including taking advantage of the world's current ecological bent. So remember- those Doritos aren't really locally-grown. Stick to supporting those small-town guys (and gals) that you know and trust.

Dana Variano

Posted at 1:19 PM, May 13, 2009 in Permalink | Comments (1)


Thanks for posting this.
I would not have believed nor predicted that 'locally grown' could have been co-opted as well.

Posted by: Robin Ringleka Kottke

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