Cries & Whispers

Cries & Whispers: Every Label Tells a Story (But Why?)

Hey there, Filthy Dreamers!

So when Rod Stewart posed the musical question, “Da ya think I’m sexy?,” I must admit, I said no. But, “Every picture tells a story, don’t it?” Well, heck, I’ll drink to that, Rod. Yes, technically every picture does tell a story.

But you know what shouldn’t tell a story? Food labels.

I realize this is not a new phenomenon. I understand how marketing works and I know that over the past decade or so, many companies have felt the need to make a buyer feel part of a movement, a community, or yes…a story.

But it’s gotten out of hand, FDers.

Cases in point (actual examples from my kitchen cabinet):

Simple Mills crackers say that they can “transform how you feel” and “help you live your fullest life.” Who knew? I like them because they’re crunchy and have clean ingredients. I don’t know how much was spent on that GOOP-worthy copy (it continues on for a couple of paragraphs), but if you ask me, they should’ve used it to put a few more crackers in the box.

Organic eggs from The Farmer’s Hen inform me that they have “family values.” Whoa. Perhaps the company is unaware of the fact that the far-right has (sadly) co-opted those two words, but it’s hard to say. Anyway, whenever I open the carton, I try not to think of a flock of hens scratching out hate mail to Planned Parenthood.

Rishi Tea aims to be a “pillar of your pursuit for balance” and “a wellspring of inspiration for your tea life.” Phew. That’s a lot to unpack. I just enjoy the way your tea tastes, Rishi. And while I really dig tea, I don’t have a tea life. “Tea life” kinda sounds like code for “no life” to me.

A cereal I buy wants me to get to know their “team” by featuring one on the back of every box. A label on a soup I like says the brand donates to charity with each purchase, which is terrific! But then it goes on to say they’ll donate even more if you post a pic on Instagram. Blurgh. A side of guilt with that split pea, sir? Yum!

Sometimes you just want a cookie to be a cookie.

So that’s why my husband and I love Seasonello. We use it as it’s one of the few brands of sea salt that adds iodine (low thyroid runs in both of our families). Their label contains no overripe odes to journeys or lifestyles. It just says, “This salt supplies iodine, a necessary nutrient.” Ahh. That’s exactly enough information to process in the morning while I’m trying to salt the family values out of my eggs.

And it also makes for a nifty segue into this new cartoon. As always, I wrote it and my aforementioned husband Rusty drew it. Happy summer!

Follow Andy on Instagram @andyandynyc

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