Truth in Advertising

There was a fair amount of response to my missive last week regarding Michael Pollan's In Defense Of Food, and I've been inspired to continue along that path a bit. Food certainly does need defending... this past week Heinz won a well-publicized appeal in England regarding its use of the term "Farmer's Market" in the name of a line of canned soups. If you read the BBC article on the matter, you'll note that the final decision was based on the fact that the use of "farmer's market" on the packaging was so absurd as to not even be misleading. Um. I mean, it's true that there is BS everywhere... my friend Spike reassured me when I was worrying about the inherent lie of keeping the bicycle in our logo when we finally dropped the actual bikes, saying, "Every Italian restaurant in the world called Mama Something's is telling the same white lie... Mama isn't really back there rolling your meatballs even though it makes you feel better to think so." So if the consumer gains a sense of well-being from the charade, who am I to judge? Who is really being harmed by the Heinz lie other than a gaggle of simple farmers? For an excellent inquiry into this conundrum, I (again) heartily recommend reading Bill Buford's Heat. Perhaps some of us think too much, know too much... just let yourself be warmed by the image of Mama rolling your meatballs and leave it at that. Socrates made the (perhaps a little over-the-top) statement that the unexamined life is not worth living. Well here's a case of the overexamined life being... a little tedious. For that matter, this paragraph is getting a little tedious. Let's move onto the next.