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Farmers get no respect in Chipotle’s latest round of marketing

Farmers get no respect in Chipotle’s latest round of marketing

By Chuck Jolley

Health claims as marketing tools made by food marketers are like health claims made by over-the-counter vitamin supplements. Both are usually cleverly worded but empty promises that don’t do anything other than make a few people feel better about themselves.  Marketing phrases like All Natural or Organic on a label or an ad almost always mean less than the paper they’re printed on.  They’re often claims that live in “A World of Pure Imagination.”

To prove my point, let’s compare quarter pounders with cheese from two different vendors.

Chuck Jolley Chart

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Hating on organics? Not on my blog!

Hating on organics? Not on my blog!

By Gene Hall

My goodness, have we reached the point where disagreeing on something makes us “haters?” Gee, I hope not.  Recently, here on Texas Agriculture Talks, we pointed out some problems with recent ads by the chain restaurant Chipotle in what are plainly attacks on modern agriculture. Other Farm Bureau writers around the country posted similar views.

Chipotle’s ad was cute and engaging—cartoon pigs, cartoon farmer and a lovely Willie Nelson rendition of the Coldplay tune, The Scientist, Back to the Start. A colleague of mine says there’s no black or white on this. It’s either an attack on conventional agriculture that justifies a response or it’s gospel truth and any response is the start of the attack.

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Texas Agriculture Talks: Top 10 blogs for 2013

Texas Agriculture Talks: Top 10 blogs for 2013

By Mike Barnett

2013 is gone but not forgotten. But it soon will be as we dig deeper into the New Year.

I decided to look back at 2013 through the eyes of Texas Agriculture Talks, posting the 10 favorite columns as decided by you, our readers. Gene Hall and I started the blog in 2009 to provide a proactive voice for agriculture, whose methods were being chopped apart by groups and individuals with an ax to grind. We found our voice in those tough beginning years. And although we’ve mellowed a bit with age, we’re not afraid to speak out—loudly—for all the farmers and ranchers who raise food and fiber. We’ve since expanded our efforts to include guest bloggers.

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Consumers misled? Naturally!

Consumers misled? Naturally!

By Gene Hall

In poring over some public opinion and consumer research recently, I concluded that food-buying Americans really love “natural” things.  Organic?  Sure, but not overpowering.  Conventional? You have to explain what that means.

The clear preference for natural is a bit unnerving. That’s because in the world of marketing and food labels, natural means—not much. Several government bodies have tried to develop a standard for it and punted. All such efforts ended in failure. Now organic is different. There are standards and a certification program. Most people who want a so-called natural diet can accomplish that by buying organic, though they should be prepared to spend more.

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