Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life on the Farm: It's all too 1984

Thank you, Wikipedia
One of the blogs I subscribe to is Burlingtonian Robin Berger’s Hippo Flambé. She recently posted that she avoids feeding foods with high fructose corn syrup (hfcs) to her children (a summation – but accurate).

This raised hackles at the Corn Sugar Council (or The Lollypop Guild, I can’t remember which) and she received an e-mail chastising her for maligning their perfectly safe, healthy product, which was definitely-not-in-any-way-causing-obesity, because the fat people are simply eating too much.

I’ve got bootmarks on my backside for saying less about other self-appointed powers that be.

Do the sweetener cybernerds get any sleep whilst hunting down every naysayer nationwide?

Robin’s corn-sugar comment was printed in a newspaper – but, c’mon, it’s Vermont.  If non-New-Englanders can’t locate our state on a map, how can a minor quotation buried in an article about breakfast make it all the way to the ministry of corn refiners in Washington DC?

My blog has four followers (down from five, and they are probably relatives.)  I couldn’t be more obscure, yet my remarks are regularly ferreted out via the super-software that combs all social media for dissention against The Brand so that The Corporation can target me for re-education.  How very Orwellian.

Of those who contacted Chez Boucher, each claimed that “no one else has a problem with us” and “everybody likes our product.”   Think about that for a minute. 

So, the fact that a company/organization employs full-time staffers to confront anyone who dares speak a word against them has no bearing on that self-proclaimed gold-starred approval rating?

I suppose, I should be thrilled that one dairy farmer’s opinion is so very highly valued.  

I’ve been emailed by the marketing director of an Australian company for documenting an allergic reaction to a snack bar, and harassed on the phone because I wrote about a box-mix biscuit that disintegrated when I attempted to eat it. Poor Dan. He picked up the receiver that time.

I was called irresponsible for exposing a hinky labeling practice – it’s legal and not at all “deceptive” to have common allergens present in foods at government-set safety levels – it’s only a bitch if you happen to be allergic to the contaminant not listed on the jar.

Lest you forget – those things were written on my personal blog.

Is the targeting of honest citizens the final evidence that Big Brother surveillance exists?  Or is there an overpopulation of hyper-caffeinated desk-monkeys with Kindles and a need to justify their salaries?  

I should be able to document a soggy pizza shell or call a sugar cookie “gritty” without being pursued by torch-bearing villagers and CEO’s with borderline personality disorders.

It’s time for the business bunch to change their panties and put all that effort into making their products better, instead of spying on folks.

(As a side-note, the Corn Refiners Association gave a bunch of mommy bloggers $50 Wal-Mart gift certificates to spread promotional doublespeak about hfcs in 2010 – or they didn’t - depending on whom you believe. It’s all too 1984.)