The greenwashing industry

Debunking food-industry myths

September 28, 2011

Continuing her run of debunking food-industry mythmaking, Anna Lappé recently chastised a national restaurant chain and a farm-industry association for making food claims that sound good, but aren’t.

First up: the Darden Group, a restaurant chain that includes the Red Lobster and Olive Garden brands. The chain recently announced efforts to “voluntarily improve their menus, cutting calories and sodium and making healthier options available for kids.”

As Lappé pointed out, a single meal at the Olive Garden can be double the daily recommended calorie count for a healthy adult, so the cutbacks suggested by the restaurant chain are really just hollow promises.

Second up: the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, a new trade association with a campaign titled "Food Dialogues," billed as “an effort to amplify the voice of farmers and ranchers and help consumers know more about ‘how their food is grown and raised.’”

Heartening? Not really, reported Lappé, since the association is essentially using eco-rhetoric to defend current industrial agricultural practices, including heavy environmental pollution of air, soil, and water, as well as regular antibiotic and hormone use in factory animals.

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1. by Caroline Cummins on Sep 28, 2011 at 9:42 AM PDT

Marion Nestle tackled this PR greenwashing issue last week, and the New York Times ran a report yesterday on the Food Dialogues campaign.

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