When Frito-Lay and other mega manufacturers, who have more to do with junk food than sustainable agriculture, announced they were coming out with advertising campaigns to capitalize on this latest trend, many in the local food movement have been less than pleased. Sure, they are advertising the fact that the companies are buying produce and meat local to their manufacturing plants, the end result from the consumer's standpoint is anything but. Unless you happen to live near one of these mega-processors, those chips are still not going to be "local".
From their press release:
In addition to the national and regional television spots, the "Lay’s Local" campaign will be supported by a comprehensive marketing effort that celebrates the local connections of the brand through national print advertising, on-pack messaging and 40,000 in-store displays that are customized for each participating state to celebrate local connections and contributions to Lay's Potato Chips. The brand also will participate in more than 50 local-market events throughout the country celebrating the local communities that play a role in making Lay's Potato Chips.
On one hand, they are lowering the total food miles involved in the manufacturing process. Or are they? Based on Frito-Lay's press release it looks like they have changed little in the way of how they obtain their potatoes, they are just marketing the proximity of their source farms. They've made no changes in the way they grow the potatoes as far as I can tell either. Just another incidence of jumping on the bandwagon and beating the meaning out of it.
What do you think? Do you feel this is misrepresentation by greedy corporations or is this a step in the right direction to more sustainable food, by letting people know where the food source is located?
Image courtesy of The Onion