Pundit’s Mailbag —
Another Despicable Marketing Attempt
Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, October 2, 2006
We’ve already started a “Despicable Marketing Program” department in the Pundit with our article on how Fit, a produce wash, immediately started sending press releases the instant the spinach crisis broke implying the wash could do something about the problem at hand.
Now we have an example of marketing that is both despicable and dangerous. Park Seed Co. decided to take advantage of the industry’s current vulnerability by urging consumers to:
Grow Spinach Safely in Your Own Garden!
All the talk in the news recently about E. coli-contaminated “bagged” spinach has the American public concerned — and rightly so! So many people have contacted us about spinach we wanted to share some tips on how to grow your own. Growing spinach in your own garden is just as easy as growing lettuce! After all, no one wants their very life threatened by a salad.
The danger here is that it is highly probable that home grown spinach is more dangerous than commercial product.
The deer lunching in the vegetable patch can do more than damage a crop; he can leave E. coli behind. Few home gardeners triple wash their greens in a chlorine bath. Few have third-party audits and resident food safety experts.
In fact, most foodborne illness is due to improper handling and the transmission spot is the home kitchen.
It is rarely traced back partly because the numbers are too small to get good statistics, partly because no one wants to blame Mom for this case of food poisoning.
But, now, someone will have an incentive to blame Park Seed Co. for falsely implying that home-grown is safer than commercial. It will give the lawyers something to do when they finish suing produce companies.