So, somehow I’d managed to completely forget that there’s a Whole Foods at Countryside Mall until recently when I ended up there for some reason or another. And after walking around the, honestly, rather aesthetically pleasing store, it got me thinking: is the reason the health food movement got so big just another example of marketing?
Well, yeah. I mean, obviously it is. Under the umbrella of the term “marketing” you will find every successful business/organization/group using it in some way or another. But it’s also different than any other type of marketing I talked about before…because it’s, dare I say, tinged with fear.
Because, while places like Nature’s Food Patch, and Whole Foods, and a lot of local mom and pop stores all offer high-grade, organic, natural food that does a lot for our community– I posit that half the reason we have so many of those kinds of stores lately is because we’re scared of our food.
You Market To A Need, And This Case We Need Healthy Food
And that’s part of a much bigger cultural problem, but just focusing on this one aspect, take a mental journey with me here. There was a time, and I’m going to leave it up to the reader to decide the exact length of it, where we assumed that all the food we were getting was perfectly fine to eat. That if the FDA let it through, and it was on our shelves and not spoiled, we were fine. We could eat it, chow down. No real risk.
I mean I wasn’t there, but I’d wager there was time where you wouldn’t even have a qualm with picking an apple directly off a random tree and eating it, when nowadays—no…just no. Bad plan.
And then, over time, we got these exposés, these documentaries, these sad stories of children getting diabetes, and in a flurry of online activity we attacked everyone. Parents, restaurants, the FDA, the government, Monsanto, GMO, literally anyone we could think of. And suddenly, and though they were there before, we found ourselves flocking in-mass to anything that we perceive to be healthier than the crap we found out most modern day food is.
The Best Kind Of Advertisement Is Often One Of Comparison. Healthy? Or Not Healthy?
So, this brings me to my point. While the majority of the appeal of health food and health food stores is it’s flavorful, more environmentally conscious, and–of course–healthier, we only discovered we wanted that when we found out most of what was available wasn’t all of those things.
Because on some level, however small, “organic” doesn’t just mean “good for me,” it means “not semi-edible poison.”
And whether they intended it or not, that’s a pretty effective way to get someone to buy a product.
If you liked this article, you can read more of Brandon Scott’s work on The Hive, or at his website: www.coolerbs.com.