Good evening everyone!
I had planned to do a nice long post tonight, all about my hill workout, but never actually made it to the workout. One of my good work friends got engaged over the weekend, so my workout turned into dinner and drinks at Todd English’s Bonfire. They had an excellent taco special tonight, so we ate all sorts of tacos: butter braised lobster, ahi tuna, crispy fish, chicken, and veggie, for a very low price. Their tacos are 4/$12 until 7pm. The bar is an absolutely gorgeous, long, carved wood bar with rich, dark decor. This is one of my favorite bars for post work drinks, and it was a great place to celebrate the engagement!
The evening required some food and workout flexibilty for me, which sometimes can be a little unnerving. I planned on a hard workout followed by lots of veggies and salad. Instead I had drinks, food, and while I still walked about 2 of my 3 miles home, wasn’t getting a butt kicking workout like I expected. These moments sometimes cause me to have to step back for a second and remind myself its ok to go off schedule, that I don’t do it everyday, and that its a healthy part of life to want to skip a workout to celebrate a friend’s joy. Do you ever feel like this?
I did get to start writing on a topic that I find very interesting, and my post is below. Don’t forget to have your guest posts to me by tomorrow evening if you want to submit one for this week. I will start posting them on Wednesday. Adios!
Yesterday afternoon I had a great run from the MSPCA to my favorite Trader Joe’s then did my grocery shopping. It was great to get so much accomplished on my run. Tomorrow I will post about all of my great finds and the delicious eats that I have come up with from my shopping. I did want to take a photo, but it was SO humid that by the time I got home, everything was getting melty and wet. Ick! One thing I love about winter is that after grocery shopping, we can usually leave the bags in the car and do other errands, and everything stays cold!
Anyway, one of my purchases was Trader Joe’s brand baked “wheat thin” style crackers. I was grabbing a handful last night and noticed that the box exclaims “reduced guilt!”. This really got me thinking. As a marketer by profession, I feel really strongly about the impact that words can have on a market. Several years ago, I had the great privilege of working on a chapter for Food Marketing to Children and Youth, a publication put out by the Institute of Medicine in Washington, DC. My former boss was on one of the committees and asked me to outline and help write the chapter he was responsible for which dealt with marketing food to children. The research was interesting and horrifying. Not having children of my own, I didn’t often venture into the “kid food” aisles or products, and I started to notice that everywhere marketing on not so great food was geared to children, and it was basically trying to undermine parents’ efforts to make good choices. Pretty much any junk food geared to children featured the Disney or Pixar character du jour.
When the book was published, we started to see some immediate changes in the food marketing landscape, and it was really exciting. As my then boss said, it was giving retailers and food producers the opportunity to regulate themselves before being forced to comply with regulations. It is sad that it has taken so long and an epidemic of obesity among American children to really rally a call for change, and there is a lot more that needs to be done, both in terms of food production for kids and the way it is marketed as well as in education for parents, schools etc. Other countries prohibit marketing any item specifically to children. I would happen to agree with this approach. Again, while not being a parent, I can see where a tired parent might just get bowled over and give in to children who see Shrek on every container of snack food in the grocery aisles and just have to have it.
What do you think about this?
The “reduced guilt” on the box of crackers was pretty obviously not meant for children, but it could be seen by reading age children and have them question what guilt means and why is it on a box of crackers? I myself looked at it and wondered why I should feel guilty about crackers that are overall, in moderation, a pretty healthy snack. Or, if I was really feeling guilty about food that that said something bigger overall about what was going on with me. Don’t get me wrong; I am sure we have all walked away from the table at some point feeling ick about what we ate, but for a food product to tell me its okay to feel less guilty just seems wrong.
Considering my past experience with the issue of food marketing, this really opened my eyes, and I hope to research and write more about it. I would love to hear your thoughts; I have really just touched on it here, but I can imagine myself someday soon heading to a grocery store and spending lots of time just looking at how products are marketed.
Don’t worry Trader Joe, I still love you. I just think you need to choose your words more carefully next time.