Food needs better public relations

by John Schlageck

Kansas Farm Bureau

Hype is a word often associated with advertising agencies, public relations firms and spin doctors who attempt to create, change or repair an image. Many people consider hype a dirty word, something to detest.

On the flip side, hype, or attention-provoking material, can also help shape and mold a public?s way of thinking.

If this assumption is believable, farmers, ranchers, grocery store owners, restauranteurs?and everyone involved in the food chain?must step up their efforts and devote resources to hire the best public-relations staffs and advertising agencies available to speak on behalf of their industry and to promote the wholesome food they produce.

After all, food gets no respect. It?s taken a bad rap for far too long. It all started with Adam and Eve.

What caused them to sin?

An apple of course. Everyone knows what one bad apple does to a barrelful, right?

When a friend buys a car and problems arise, he does not call the car lousy, does he?

No, instead it?s labeled a lemon.

When someone receives bad advice, the suggestions weren?t bad?instead, the person was given a bum steer. And a bad joke is not called stupid, it is referred to as corny.

Pits from fruit will grow an orchard, but if something is awful it is considered the ?pits.?

Extremely homely girls are distastefully referred to as pigs. Homely guys are labeled turkeys or boars. Someone who lacks gray matter is often called a muttonhead.

All children know Cinderella?s beautiful carriage turned into a pumpkin at midnight. A gingerbread house landed Hansel and Gretel in the witch?s oven. And a poison apple was the downfall of Snow White.

No doubt, the food industry needs an image facelift?some good old public relation?s hype.

To be honest, this all leaves a bad taste in this writer?s mouth. But then, I guess, it could just be a case of sour grapes.

John Schlageck is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas.