If You Say So…

There’s an interesting trend going on in the area of denial of science and common sense. No, I’m not talking about “intelligent design”/evolution denial or climate change denial. It’s in the area of food and food safety.

Case in point: Chobani Yoghurt* recently advertised that they produced a 100 calorie serving of yoghurt without scientific help. There’s a great destruction of the claim on Popular Science, but that’s beside the point.

* Thanks to Maggie for tipping me to this story.

The point is this: Somebody at Chobani thought this claim was a good idea.

Another example: Organic Valley is running radio ads touting the fact that, and I quote, “Our milk, butter, and cheese are pasture-raised.” This isn’t isolated to their radio ads, by the way. As I write this, their website proudly announces “Pasture-Raised™ whole milk is nutritionally excellent“* (emphasis theirs). Please note: it’s not the cows that are pasture-raised, it’s the dairy products. Yep, they’ve apparently found a way to grow milk, butter, and cheese without involving those nasty bovines.

* For the record, Pasture-Raised™ is a trademarked phrase. According to the website, the tag requires a minimum number of days on pasture, and a significant portion of nutrition coming from “organically managed pasture and stored dried forages”. So that butter has been growing in the pasture for at least 120 days and has been fed corn and non-iodized salt supplements. Because there isn’t enough nutritive value in grass, and Heaven forbid we should mix any nasty chemicals into our, um, other chemicals.

This is useful information, folks! If Chobani and Organic Valley don’t need science, common sense, or grammar to work their wonders, can we extend the principle to other areas of the culinary industry?

Wonder of wonders, the FDA is already working along these lines. They recently issued a statement noting that because wood is porous, it can’t be cleaned. That being the case, cheese aged on wooden racks (as has been done for hundreds, if not thousands of years) is, by definition, unsafe.

This kind of logic could save us a lot of money. If we take it to the next level, we should ask if we even need the FDA and their partners in common sense, the USDA? Think about it: remember the government shutdown last October? You may recall that there was a salmonella outbreak while FDA and USDA employees were on furlough. But nobody died. Nobody even got sick. Why are we paying billions of dollars for these agencies for their questionable “science-based” food safety regulations?

Remember, folks, this is America, where you’re free to believe any damn thing you want. And apparently advertise it.

3 thoughts on “If You Say So…

    • Maybe it’s backward of me, but I’m less concerned about the leaders losing track of the distinction than I am about the general population. It’s probably idealistic of me, but I have this persistent fantasy that if we could fix the latter problem, the former would clear up by itself…


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