Notice to A&W. You have lost my business. Even though you have rural restaurants that I’ve often patronized, I’ll try my best to eat elsewhere from now on.
Major players in the food business are increasingly making decisions that have no basis in science. A&W says their burgers are better because the beef has been produced without the use of hormones. Even if they have to get the beef from outside of Canada, it’s going to come from hormone-free producers.
This is a carefully calculated business decision. No doubt A&W will have to pay a small premium to source their beef, but they now have a new marketing tool to differentiate themselves from the other burger chains. They think they can gain market share and more than compensate for any extra costs.
Their plan is predicated on keeping existing customers and gaining new ones. Well, this existing customer is leaving. Maybe if enough like-minded people did the same, food suppliers would rethink their attacks on science.
The President’s Choice line of Products from Galen Weston is also on my try not to buy list. It’s the same reason that I balk at organic and all-natural products, although at least an organic label has some established standards.
Imagine two virtually identical-looking food products side by side in the grocery store. They are the same price, but one is labelled organic and one is not. Which one do you buy? I buy the non-organic. In fact, I’d even pay more for non-organic.
Organic doesn’t necessarily mean local. It isn’t any safer as numerous organic food recalls have proven. It may or may not have a lower carbon footprint. And it’s deceitful because the label implies a product that’s safer and better for the environment.
And then there’s the GMO issue. While visiting the left coast (B.C.) for a conference, we had breakfast at a small resort café. The tomato slice had green streaks. The manager explained that this was an heirloom variety, not genetically modified like regular tomatoes you see in the store.
I didn’t bother telling him that there are no genetically modified tomatoes in the marketplace, nor that regular plant breeding has worked to improve plant varieties for hundreds of years.
The non-GMO crowd is horribly misinformed and they don’t want to be confused by the facts. The fight to get GMO foods labelled isn’t about choice. It’s a way to bash science.
Folks that want their foods organic and GMO free tend to be the same folks who think raw unpasteurized milk has to be better for you.
Choice is good and everyone is entitled to their opinions, but it really irks me when food promotion campaigns spread falsehoods. Food wasn’t safer ten or twenty or thirty years ago. Many of those old-time production practices had inherent health dangers.
And whether it’s a hormone, an antibiotic, a pesticide or a genetic modification, tens of millions of dollars are spent on extensive scientific scrutiny before anything is approved for the marketplace.
Our society faces important food-related issues. Many of us eat too much and a lot of it is junk. As far as safety goes, the biggest risk comes from how foods are stored and prepared in the home.
All-natural, hormone-free, organic and non-GMO are distractions from the real issues.
These nonsensical food offerings are becoming more main stream, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to avoid them. Want to join me?