When I was a little girl, my mom took me to the local grocery store to audition for an Oscar Mayer Weiner commercial. I had practiced the song—you know one, “Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner, that is what I’d truly like to be…”—over and over. But by the time I sat down in front of the audition manager, I went into a fit of giggles. I couldn’t finish that jingle for the life of me, and there went my chance of childhood stardom.
Recently, a yogurt company featured some kiddos in its commercial to help tout its non-GMO product. Now, if people want to buy non-GMO labeled yogurt—that’s totally cool. But what wasn’t cool were the lines these kids had to memorize and say. Twisting their innocent faces, they described GMOs as “monstrous” and equated the process to putting a fish gene inside of a fruit. I much preferred this Yoplait commercial that encourages moms to do what’s best for them and their families without societal pressures. After all, mothers have enough on their plates without being made to feel guilty about something that’s been proven to be a safe option for families for decades.
I’ve even seen a few extreme activist groups attempting to harness religion to try and sway others against farmers and agriculture. Yikes! From these groups saying there’s no forgiveness for those who “mislead” the public on their practices (talk about the pot calling the kettle black) to suggesting animal agriculture and those who participate in it are “evil”! Let’s just say I’m glad that’s not the kind of message our pastor promotes when Craig and I go to church on Sundays! I mean, haven’t we all heard that God made a farmer, too?
I think most of us can agree there are better ways to sell a product, like seeing kids enjoy the product while having an adult narrator do the “heavy lifting” to explain how it was sourced. Let’s let kids be kids, and let’s let consumers decide what they want to buy. Families who have questions or concerns about their food can find answers at BestFoodFacts.org.
Research shows no matter what grocery shoppers choose, Iowa farmers are happy to provide, and there’s no need to “demonize” each other in the process.
By Caitlyn Lamm. Caitlyn is Iowa Farm Bureau's public relations specialist.