What’s in a Name

There is a war raging within the world today.  At this point I hazard to say that it may not be at the forefront but we see the effects of it in muted detail.  Every now and then there are battles that flare up and remind us that the war is still raging, only to see the noise die down a bit till the next offensive action. 

You may not remember these commercials or (heaven forbid) you are not even old enough to have ever seen these commercials but they seem to hold an important point to keep in mind. 

The idea of an all natural product with ingredients you can pronounce seems almost trite at this point.  But this wasn’t always the case.  Even today this isn’t the norm, even though it becomes more common everyday.  The more troubled idea is transparency of not only ingredients but also origin. 

When we look at many of the products we take for granted now we rarely think of where they might have originated.  This “good faith” that companies could only have our best interests at heart is a bit scary for one but also a disservice to our own well being and piece of mind.  Imagine a world where children assume that the meat they eat in the supermarket was made there and no animals were harmed in the process.  Well, you really don’t have to imagine it because we live in that world now.  If you hadn’t noticed, we have reached a time in history when a few select companies control the majority of the products we use everyday.

 Over the past month or so a battle has flared up again. The battle of “craft vs crafty.” Who makes the beers we drink. The talk has gone in several directions bordering outrage to dismay.  Much of this stems from the criteria that the Brewer’s Association has in place for defining what is a craft brewer.  The thing is, they have had this criteria for years now, this isn’t something new.  The only real change was to raise the barrel cap to remain within the guidelines.  This change was done roughly 3 years ago now. 

So why the outrage?  Why all the controversy?  The folks at the BA in an effort to call out the companies that are in effect blurring the lines made public statements showing where the line was crossed.  Have we lost our accountability to the point where we need to resort to half truths or subterfuge to sell our wares?  How does that polysorbate 80 taste? 

But this isn’t a call to action to bring down the oppressors.  This is a reminder that we should be mindful of who and what we support.  Why are companies like Monsanto afraid to label their products as GMO?  Why would a company like AB Inbev not publically claim Shock Top or Goose Island (which they have now pretty much completely changed the group running the brewery)?  Transparency in the products we consume can be a liberating thing.  If not for our own piece of mind but to remind our children that yes steak does come from cows. 

Time for a pint…

7 thoughts on “What’s in a Name

  1. I really enjoyed your point of view. I see the same "blurring of the lines" in wine. There are times when I go in search of who really owns a winery only to find that it was acquired by a large winery group but has not publicized that fact. It then makes me wonder if the wine is really a boutique wine or part of the parent company's formula. Just my thought… I need a glass. 🙂

  2. I saw recently that there is roughly three large wine companies that own a huge amount of smaller wineries. Its to the point of companies like Proctor and Gamble who own all these unrelated companies but they are incredibly diversified and no one really knows where their money is going.

  3. Years ago a cheese like product called Velveta came out to provide customers with a cheese that would last longer than most cheeses. How many people believe this is actually a cheese. It is labled as a cheese food but for most consumers, it just means cheese. Also when it first came out it was white and customers wouldn't touch it until the colored it yellow.

  4. It's scary. It seems as if our collective health is not what it once was and it's because of what's in our food. The subject of chemicals in our food gets talked about a bunch, but it really is bad news. Thank you for this post!

  5. The same concept applies to the media we consume on a daily basis since only a few corporations pretty much control everything we watch, hear, and read. It all so Orwellian…

  6. Its a scary realization how much of what we consume is contrived by a few major corporations. Its pretty dishonest the way marketing techniques are used on us to make us think we're consuming certain things, when they're completely different. Considering even the beer industry, its clear that this relates to so many different products.

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