Monday, December 28, 2009

Smith's A Victim Of The Media Monster

Recently, we were media bombed with a story out of Australia where a potato chip company was supposedly about to introduce a new kangaroo and emu flavoured potato chip. This caused an uproar, not only among vegans and vegetarians, but with Australian patriots as well. You see, they felt that it was an insult because a) people would be eating their coat of arms and b) it would be teaching kids that it was fun to go out and kill these animals that so much represented Australia on the international scene. The company in question is Smith's.

As is the case with many stories in the media, this one was missing most of the facts and was meant as a great filler at a slow news time. The suggested flavour was one of four finalists in a contest open to the public to name the company's next potato chip. The company insists that all the flavouring would have been artificial and no kangaroos or emus would have died in the making of this potential new flavour. Being Canadian and vegan, I have no idea what that would have tasted like. My guess is that it would have been just another salt coated potato chip soaked in some sort of cooking oil.

It was very recently announced that Caesar's Salad was the winning flavour. This, of course, will taste like sour cream and onion or all-dressed or salt and vinegar or whatever - they all taste the same in the end. Whether this was a legitimate win - the contest was voted on through their website - or a great public relations fix, there will be no kangaroo and emu chips in Australia unless manufactured by someone other than Smith's.

My guess, after all the international bad press, is that Smith's fixed the vote in favour of any flavour but the kangaroo and emu. Smith's is obviously not affiliated with the Canadian government - the ones who pass legislation despite the unanimous opposition from the majority of the citizens (HST for example).

I was about to write about this when the issue first appeared. I'm glad I didn't. What lesson has been learned? When the media goes viral with a story, did deep to find out the real facts. Shock and awe sell news. Shock and awe are very rarely part of our real world lives.

In other news...

I'm working with a vegan soup recipe I found online at the internet home of the Denver Post. The recipe is meant to be relatively quick and suggests using a pressure cooker or a stovetop pot. I'm making this into a crockpot recipe. Other than the cooking style, however, I'm surprisingly not going to mess with the ingredients much - so unlike me.

Pressure cookers!? So American - always in such a hurry!

Here's the link to the original article at the Denver Post. Stayed tuned to find out how my conversion went.

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