BY KURT MICHAEL FRIESE
29 MAY 2009
Nobody likes hypocrites, despite the fact that everyone is a hypocrite to one degree or another: the smoker who tells her kids not to smoke; the closeted politician who works against gay rights; the police officer who throws the book at stoners but who himself gets high. But in the matter of marketing food, hypocrisy reaches a fever pitch.
Take last month’s flap about Oprah Winfrey’s KFC promotion. While the MSM focused on the feeding frenzy that ensued, and the near-riots when KFCs across the country ran out of food or people couldn’t download their coupons from the website, precious few (apart from here on Grist anyway) were commenting on Oprah’s hypocrisy in promoting KFC after she had done so much to promote the cause of animal cruelty prevention. She was even named “Person of the Year” last year by PETA. Yet while KFC continues to buy Tyson chicken, which is raised in heartbreaking conditions, de-beaked and pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, Oprah apparently has no trouble promoting the company. Perhaps the greater hypocrisy lies with PETA, though; they’ve refused to call her out on the issue.
KFC is not blameless in hypocrite rankings either, foisting their products as fresh and healthy, hiding the true costs of cheap food, and claiming that it’s cheaper than making the food at home. To their credit, KFC parent company YUM! Brands did cave to the Coalition for Immokalee Workers and their demand for a fair living wage for tomato pickers, but that was after years of protests and even more years of slavery in South Florida. ...