|This “thing” I learned last night, rings in at a mere $2.49. What an irresistible value, n’est-ce pas?|
As a result of a mini American TV binge last evening, I was so worked up I decided to change my original idea for today’s post. (Not to worry, I’ll get back to it.)
I’m not much of a television consumer on either side of the Atlantic, but I was home alone and decided to surf the regular channels to see what was on offer. Never mind. I think it was a bad night or I couldn’t concentrate or I was in the middle of a good book that was beckoning, whatever the reason I just wasn’t into it. However, I was amazed, fascinated — most certainly because I have forgotten — to see not only the number of commercials during programs, but more surprisingly the ads themselves.
|Sure, why wouldn’t you have a candy bar if you’re hungry?|
I’m talking about the abundance of advertisements about food, most particularly with what seemed to be a subliminal message, a happy, happy psychological brainwashing encouraging the public to eat, eat, eat with wild abandon.
|Natural, whole milk yogurt is also a snack option.|
My normal, after living in France for decades, is the contrary of these messages. As I’ve mentioned before, an ad for yogurt or cereal with dried fruit or tiny containers of chocolate mousse either on TV or in print always has a sort of “warning label” floating below the pitch reminding a consumer about the dangers of wanton snacking and an aide-mémoire about eating our daily quota of fruits and vegetables. Some even throw in a nag line about exercising.
Christine, my friend and pharmacist, was “shocked” when I told her there were no such cautionary captions beneath our food and drink ads. “Really? That’s odd,” she said.
Not really. Such a caveat might discourage the free flow of commerce and calories. (No, I’m not a Socialist. I’m just saying. . .)
|Maybe this “on the go” snack does exist in France, but I’ve never seen it.|
Nutella & Go! Seriously!? That French favorite exists as a prepackaged chocolate dip with cookies so one can walk down the street dipping and eating? Are we mad? (I’m assuming that the product does not exist in France. I’ve never seen it. The concept is so not French that I cannot imagine that it does.)
|Yikes! I’ll bet they’re famous.|
All You Can Eat restaurants (?), when I was writing my book one of the nutritionists said that in caloric theory one could apply an “all you can eat” approach to green beans, but she added “we’re not animals and should never think of food in that way.” Another dietician didn’t agree, but we’re talking haricots verts for heaven’s sake.
|A slight controversy exists among nutritionists: should we be “allowed” to eat haricots verts until we fall over in a stupor or should these harmless veggies be consumed solely in a generous serving as opposed to “all you can eat”?|
It’s also interesting to note that the actors blithely consuming these products are always slender and cheerfully carefree. Mixed messages? Instant gratification? I give up.
We all know marketing is a form of lifestyle brainwashing, trying to convince us that we’ll be more content, fulfilled, maybe even momentarily gleefully giddy with that new car, fresh carpeting, a restaurant experience, a flowery fragrance or that sublime first bite of a Snickers bar.
Ed. Note: It’s difficult to be frivolous today after the horrible, horrible terrorist attack in Paris. So tragic. So sad.