Store Wars More Enjoyable Than The Last Two Star Wars Flicks

Posted by: David Kiley on May 18, 2005

“The Organic Rebellion,” a send-up of the latest Stars Wars movie/product tie in bonanza is more entertaining than the last two Stars Wars films if you ask me.
The five minute video is the work of the National Organic Trade Association, and is meant to be a humorous counter-point to the junk food tie ins to the latest Star Wars movie. Vegetables and fruits are the stars of the video, each donning Star Warsian garb. Characters include Ham Solo and Chewbrocolli and Cuke Skywalker. The story tells the story of the battle between food producers who follow organic growing practice, “the way of the farm,” and thos who live and work on “the dark side,” growing along the lines of chemical fertilizers and genetically engineered crops.

It’s an entertaining jab at the M&M, Burger King Pepsi and Frito-Lay tie-ins to the Star Wars movie.

The growth of organic foods has caught the attention of every food marketer, even those making pet food. It’s about a $14 billion market, projected to hit $17 billion next year. I expect Store Wars will have a healthy online viewing audience.

I hate to beat a dead horse in my blog. But as I have said before, as a parent of a three-year old who I am trying to keep from joining the ranks of the obese, it would be nice to see truly healthy food more heavily promoted to kids.

I recently came back from France. Let me share a few tidbits and observations about how serious the French are about good eating, especially with their children.

I met a seven year old boy at a lunch I attended tearing into a plate of raw oysters. I took a picture of it. How many seven year old boys in the U.S. do you kow who would eat a plate of raw oysters with gusto. Okay, I know it's May, not a great oyster month, but you get the point. I also remarked to his Mother that most children in the U.S. I know seem to avoid eating the crusts of the bread. How about in your country, I asked? Her response, while sounding arrogant (but I loved it anyway) was that if I served my son bread as poor as what most Americans eat in the U.S., he wouldn't eat it at all.

Another tidbit: The French are alarmed at the growing trend of weight gain among women in France, and one they fear will spread to their kids. The reason, the French government believed, is that women are working longer hours (productivity! productivity!)and have less time to shop for fresh food that is carefully prepared. Instead, they are doing as many Americans do--wolfing down heavily processed foods laden with salt, fat and sugar, just for the short term energy kick and convenience.

The French government is close to banning junky food vending machines in schools and is piloting a program in ten school districts in which kids as young as three starting in pre-school get dynamic lessons about good eating, making the right choices, nutrition, etc. And the lessons extend beyond a "health" class, which was the case in my grade school and junior high days, and into Literature, Science and even Math classes. Lessons are being written and materials chosen that incorporate the nutritional lessons and principles.

I like the idea of Algebra problems that go something like this: If your father had five onions, two leeks, a dozen oysters, a gallon of spring water and two fresh baguettes, and planned to feed five people, and one of those guests was sure to ask for a second helping, how many burners on the stove will your papa need to prepare a nice dinner for your guests?

The flipside would be: If the nasty landlord who regularly beats his dog in the public square and drives an American SUV had five packages of processed macaroni and cheese, four liters of pop, three loaves of Wonder Bread, seven Twinkies, a pound of margarine, five pounds of hormone laden beef and 20 slices of individually wrapped plastic cheese, and planned to serve seven guests, how many of those guests would die by age 53 if they ate this food every day if they all range in age from 25-33 at the time of the dinner.

Bon Appetit.

Reader Comments

Tom Asacker

May 19, 2005 10:46 AM

Thanks David! I needed that. ;)

And . . . please shoot me an email with your mailing address. I have something I need to get out to you. Thanks.

Tom

Steve Savage

June 6, 2005 11:20 PM

David,

Respectfully I think you got this one wrong. The StoreWars video was not taking a jab at product placements in the movie (note that the bad guys were all vegetables and eggs - not junk food). This is just one of those sad features of part of the organic industry that they feel that it is necessary to use disinformation, distortion and scare tactics to drive people to their higher priced offerings. What is fascinating is the number of more mainstream ag and food companies that are among the OTA's members - companies whose main product lines are being painted as toxic in this video. These include the likes of Dean Foods, Chiquita, Brown Foreman, Stemilt Growers, Nike, Newman's Own, Kraft, Dole, Grimmway, HE Butt (grocery retailer) and Feiedas to name a few. The real story here is the interesting conundrum of mainstream players cashing in on the relative price insensitivity of organic consumers and other scared/guilt-ridden folk finding themselves in bed with the real "dark side" of the organic movement that has no scruples about truth or balance or what is really feasible in terms of feeding the world.

BTW - if you don't want you kid to be obsese - just don't let him/her spend life in front of some piece of electronics and feed him/her from the vast array of healthy foods that are available in every grocery store at remarkable reasonable prices!

Sincerely, Steve Savage, Ph.D.

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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