The other day I went to the farmers market to pick up bunch of grassfed meat and veggies. At the veggie stall, as I hauled my load of onions, squash, brussels sprouts and parsley to the front to pay, the guy asked me if I wanted a bag, as he picked up a nice cloth tote bag with the words "wonderful and wise" and a picture of a rainbow of vegetables on it. "Is it free?" I asked (not wanted to spend money on a bag I didn't really need). "yes! It is! No-one believes us" he joked. So i took the bag and headed home with my yummy food.
Upon further inspection of the bag, I noticed it urged me to search the words "wonderful and wise", so i googled the term expecting some wholesome, crunchy company with good values and ethical concerns at heart.
How wrong was I.
Turns out "wonderful and wise" is an ad campaign by Lurpak for their new 'Lurpak lightest', a low-fat spread with the following ingredients. Butter (27%), water, vegetable oil (19%), lactic culture, milk protein, salt (1%) , preservative (potassium sorbate).
Their advert shows lots of fresh vegetables and real food, with the Lurpak lightest at the end. At first I was confused. How on earth are they linking fresh veggies with a fake processed food made with vegetable oil?! Vegetable oil being a highly processed item made by subjecting seeds to high heat and pressure, chemical solvents (including hexane), bleaching, deodorization, and other unnatural horrible processes that render the fat toxic and foreign to the human body. They are trying to equate this crap to food that is wholesome and healthy so people think that this spread is healthy. Such deception!! Real butter, full of vitamin A, E and K, carotenoids, healthy cholesterol, saturated fat, butyric acid, etc is healthy. Fake processed low fat spreads with only a tiny bit of butter? Far from it!
The second thing that outraged me (even more than the above since I know food companies lie all the time), is that Lurpak had the nerve to advertise their crap in my local farmer's market?!! It's insane. I go to farmer's markets to avoid greedy/selfish/lying food companies, advertising and mass produced food. Yet here, my market has sneakily been infiltrated by the very company farmer's markets are supposed to stand up against.
I decided to email LFM (London Farmer's Markets, which many markets in London belong to), outlining my feelings on the matter, in the hope others will contact them too, and they can make a move to get rid of this type of product placement. I've copied my email here below. I would urge anyone else in London to contact LFM and make your opinion heard!
I am emailing about a cloth tote bag I got for free at one of the london farmer's markets. The bags say "wonderful and wise" on them, with the instructions to search the words. So when i got home I googled "wonderful and wise" and was disappointed to see it was an ad campaign for Lurpak low fat spread. I think this flies completely against the face of what LFM stands for - local REAL food. I am very disappointed that you would allow such companies to infiltrate London's wholesome grassroots farmers markets, and I am sure many LFM customers would agree. Would you please look into removing this blatant product placement from your markets, so Londoners do not lose faith in the local/organic/ethical food movement. I avoid supermarkets to avoid being bombarbed with industrial, processed 'food', so please don't bring it to the farmers markets.
UPDATE! - I received this reply:
Thank you for your email.
We didn't give Lurpak permission to give out their bags, the company
approached farms directly so the first we saw of it was when they
appeared at market at the weekend. It goes without saying that we will
be having words with whichever marketing company approached our stall
holders and we certainly don't want to see them on stalls again,
London Farmers' Markets
So it looks like it wasn't LFM that condoned this but some of the farms instead! That's even more worrying to be honest. Nevertheless, it looks like LFM are taking care of it! :D
(linked at kelly the kitchen kop)