January 19, 2018
Organic Junk Food
Did you see this in the paper the other day? And I am not going to be more specific than that.

There was an article in the paper describing how food firms, companies that put food in wrappers and sell it to stores, are trying to address, which means make money off, the "health and well-ness concerns of affluent baby boomers."

According to this article many big food companies like Nestle, Heinz, Quaker Oats, General Mills, Captain Krunch, Kraft Foods... wait, Captain Krunch is not a company, he is an officer in the cereal army, hmmmm... anyway, these companies want to investigate, make money off, organic foods and what they called functional foods.

Which is an interesting concept to me because organic food is a potato. A tomato. An apple. If whoever (or whomever) grows your potato doesn't use pesticides or alter it too radically before you eat it, that's organic.

What does Nestle have to do with that? They're from Switzerland for goodness sakes. The Farmer's market is right down the street from me. I don't need Nestle to get me an apple. What I need from Nestle is more chocolate. They're very good at that. You Swiss should stick with watches and chocolate and cheese... and those knives from your army that will never fight.

I guess I'm not terribly opposed to companies that make Sugar Smacks and Oreos and Cheetoes getting involved in carrots or rutabega. If you big companies want to take soy beans and turn them into soy burgers, then good, most days I don't have the time to do that on my own. If the hot new trend is functional foods make Powers Bars, fine. Yogurt with extra acidophilus, good, thank you. But I don't need a big corporation to get a potato. In fact, I think a big corporation might screw up the potato.

What's my point? If it's true you affluent baby boomers really are concerned with nutrition just head to your local farmer's market. All the food there has function in that it's edible and good for you. And you're financially directly rewarding farmers, literally and figuratively the people doing our nutritional dirty work/heavy lifting. Certainly, we still need big corporations making some important foods because I have never seen handmade organic Cheetoes at the farmer's market.

But wherever you get your functional food it is good to see giant food companies taking an interest in the health concerns of affluent baby boomers. I know them. Some are my friends. I myself am not yet an affluent baby boomer. If I was you probably wouldn't be hearing me on public radio? In Los Angeles, eating cheetoes on the way to the farmer's market, I am Tim Bedore for Marketplace.