Gobsmacked No More

Watch this:


Well that went over like a damp squib. Often the truth hurts. Especially when it’s in your face.

If I were in the audience I would have stood up and applauded loudly.  Mind you, there was a time when I would have just been gobsmacked like all of the others.

Gobsmacked No More.

5 thoughts on “Gobsmacked No More

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  1. Reblogged this on Foodnstuff and commented:
    This is really worth watching, although most of us would already know how we’re being manipulated by the food industry.

  2. Don’t you think it odd, she didn’t use the words “free range”, as part of the clever marketers bag of tricks? Not having a go at you blogging this link – I think it’s meant to tackle consumer use of the old industrial methods of food production. But free range is the next marketing strategy designed to see how many animals can be stocked per acre, and still be deemed by law “free range”.

    I was gobsmacked that she didn’t mention it.

    1. Thanks for your comment Chris and you are right of course about the spreading abuse of the ‘free range’ marketing tag.

      That point didn’t occur to me as I was watching the video although I am deeply aware of the ‘free range’ deception. I was more interested in the skill the presenter showed in the captivating of the audience and the holding of them all the way to the pointy end of the message even though they were obviously growing more uncomfortable with what she was saying as it progressed.

      I am sure she would have been aware of the ‘free range’ issue, although marketing regulations may differ over in the UK where this was recorded, possibly making it less of an issue there than it is here.

      Maybe she would have wanted to include more information in the talk but I gained the impression that the whole thing was theatrically timed to perfection and ended just at the right point. Any longer and it may have lost impact. Timing like that is a real skill and I admire the calm, controlled way that she pulled it off. It is hard to know how many times she has given the talk or whether the audience reaction was as expected each time, enabling her to walk off stage leaving them thinking …or what actually happened next (that would be a hard act to follow, don’t you think?), but overall I found it to be a very polished performance by a very brave, cool lady.

      1. I certainly recognise all the traits you’ve mentioned about her performance, but I still question the ultimate message she was seeding consumers with. Someone that skilled at manipulating public perception, didn’t actually steer us away from industrial food production – just the imagery and present language used to promote how its sold. Which is why it was so important to mention “free range”, considering it’s the biggest trend in marketing research today, and is still part of our industrial food system.

        That’s one of the reasons I’m gobsmacked, because “free range” is already part of the industrial food system and she failed to mention it as a marketing ploy? The other reason I was particularly gobsmacked, was in relation to the image she used of the chicken in the field. It was a hybrid chicken, genetically bred to lay eggs to the detriment of the hen laying them. The genetically designed hen is a component of the industrial food system but it was placed as an image for feeling good about our food consumption.

        She allowed the industrial food system to keep its hand in the jar of animal cruelty, unseen and even vindicated with a green field. That was the subliminal message we were supposed to take home – eat industrially produced eggs from hybrid chickens, so long as they’re living in a green field. No further questions necessary. People won’t consider how “free range” eggs came to be on their supermarket shelves, anymore than they did when their eggs came from barns.

        I imagine after her talk, most of the audience went looking for a pack of eggs or meat at the supermarket, with a nicer label. They will think “Farm Fresh” and “Natural” are bogus marketing ploys, but products with “Free range” and stories about family farms printed on the packets will make them feel more connected to their food supply. Remembering her well performed prod of conscience, they will easily cough up the extra money for Free Range products too.

        Sadly, this will only cement the industrial food system as our only food system, and keep food marketers gainfully employed through the manipulation of perception. I want to believe the reason “free range” was left out of her marketers repertoire of food scams, was because intensive farming was her main focus. But she seeded the audience with images of industrial food components in green fields, while not pointing it out as part of our “illusion” with industrial food supply either.

        It’s got me scratching my head if nothing else. I still agree with all the traits you mentioned about her. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and give a talk to an audience, let alone making the talk about confronting them. But the audience wasn’t made any the wiser about present manipulation of food marketing, outside intensive farming practices. They will still support the industrial food system, albeit, by a different logo and slogan.

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