Baby Carrots Marketed as Junk Food
As reported in the Associated Press by Emily Fredrix, starting this week, to promote the consumption of baby carrots, baby carrot farmers and marketers are launching an ad campaign that features the orange root vegetable in new, jazzed up packaging and slogans that marketers are convinced would encourage children to eat more of a veggie that's rich in beta-carotene. "Eat 'Em Like Junk Food" touts the ad campaign.
The online ad features metal music and deep male voices chanting "Baby. Carrots. Extreme." On social networking site Twitter, the campaign's account suggests people eat them "like there's no tomorrow." Seriously?
Alright, I see the point. Veggies are boring and it's difficult to coax kids into eating them, but here's the problem with ad campaigns that try to sell healthy food by making it appear risky, edgey, snazzy, and all that jazz: it reinforces the misconception that anything that appears risky is attractive; that anything that's boring should be avoided. So at the end of the day, nothing changes. What about lettuce, kale, broccoli, radish, beets? Should all these be packaged and marketed as junk food too in order to attract the attention of children?
The aim should be to teach kids the many reason why eating healthy benefits them so that they would choose to eat healthy for their own good. I've seen an 8-year-old child stand in front of a Krispy Kreme counter with a wide array of donuts only to turn down the sugary fried dough and ask for fresh, whole fruit instead. When I asked him why he'd choose fruit over sugar glazed, sprinkles covered, chocolate dipped donuts, his answer was: "It's too sweet." His mother, who is my aunt, is a medical doctor and she has conditioned his taste buds so that he actually doesn't like overly sweet desserts. This incident transpired in an airport. After a long plane trip from Down Under, my aunt asked me to take her son and find him something to eat while she goes to baggage claim to retrieve their luggage. I mistakenly thought that him being 8 years old, born and raised in Perth, Australia, he'd like to experience something that's typically American. I'm sure they have donuts in Australia, but I wasn't sure Krispy Kreme had made it there as a franchise. I was both amazed that he'd turn down donuts and shamed that I ever even thought to offer him Krispy Kreme donuts. He is evidence that it's not impossible to teach a child to eat healthy.
Questions such as: Do you want to perform better at school? Do you want to maintain a healthy weight? Do you want a face unblemished by acne and hair without split ends? Do you want to feel full rather than hungry? Do you want energy that doesn't come with spikes and slumps? Do you want to avoid getting sick by bolstering your immune system? Would you like to sleep soundly and not feel wired up because you ate too much refined sugar before going to bed?Continued on the next page