Family

My Roller Coaster Ride in the Battle for Real Food

Last night I had a great night.  After talking to my fourteen-year-old son for years about the importance of eating quality food, I decided it was time for him to watch Food, Inc.  I had tempered my expectations.  I even imagined that he would beg to turn it off after just 10 or 15 minutes – not because of the disturbing images but because he’s a teen, and he might get bored.  To my pleasant surprise he watched the whole thing, and he even stopped it several times to ask some questions.  After watching it he summed up his thoughts with, “it really shows us just how bad our food is treated” and he made a personal commitment to try to eat more organic.  Wow, I couldn’t be happier!

Then this morning I fired up my computer to read my various news feeds.  When I came across this article in Fast Company entitled Nestle Chairman Skeptical Of Growth In Organic Food Market my blood started to boil.  Please, if you read nothing else today, read this article.  In it Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of the Board of Nestlé, basically dismisses the organic, slow food movement by saying “it’s a privilege.  We also have to think of the world food supply.”  I’m sorry Mr. Brabeck-Letmathe, the movement is about the world food supply and fixing the mess that he and other processed food companies of the world have created!  And is it a privilege to have good, nutritious food?  I say NO!  Everyone has a right to real, delicious food vs. the manufactured, empty-nutrition, high-caloried crap that most processed food companies churn out.

Nestle pretends to care about good food but profits takes the front seat at this processed food company.

Am I disappointed that the real food movement is so casually disregarded by the chairman of the world’s largest food company? — Yes!  Am I surprised?  To be honest — Not really.  Despite their slogan “Good Food, Good Life” Nestlé has quite an infamous track record, and it’s known internationally for putting profits ahead of nutrition.  Remember how they showed careless disregard for infants by pushing their own formula over safer, more nutritious breast-milk?  Yes, it appears that same domineering, self-righteous attitude towards food still prevails.

So what does this mean?  Well certainly the battle for better food is not over.   Fighting for greater transparency of the quality of our food supply is one of my passions.  That’s why I write this blog.  It’s also why I wrote my novel, FAT PROFIT$, a thriller about a BIG food company that will stop at nothing to fatten its profits.  You see I figure that there are lots of different ways to get the word out, and as a real-life, food-industry insider, I can offer an authentic voice to the call for better food.

But … what do you think?  If you agree that real food is an important cause worth fighting for, help me out.  Friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twittersign up for my email blog feed, and make lots comments on my posts.  Then please share my blog, Facebook page, and tweets with friends to help me get the word out.  I promise — you won’t be disappointed!  As a former marketer with some of the biggest food companies in the world, I will share with you the many tricks and ploys processed food companies use to convince you their food is healthy.  Also, in the coming weeks I will be releasing a preview of my novel, FAT PROFIT$.  Facebook friends, email subscribers, and Twitter followers will all get first dibs to check out why a very well-respected, influential editor called it “an epic novel … [that's] an important political weapon without being a repetitious non-fiction exposé.”  I hope you will agree my blog and novel are worth your time  … but you’ll never know if you don’t climb on board!

As always, thanks for reading my blog and for caring about real food!

Bruce Bradley

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Ben ready to pieface Dad

Ben throwing pie. Dad scared!

Earlier this week I bemoaned how being away from your child on their birthday or a holiday can be tough for divorced parents.  While that’s true, I forgot to share another lesson.  Even if you have to spend a special day apart, there’s NO reason you can’t celebrate on a different day.  Not only can it be just as fun, but in some ways it can be more relaxing since you’re released from the expectations of the actual day.

Case in point:  my son’s 14th birthday.  Yes, we had to celebrate a couple days later since Ben was at his mom’s, but we still had a real party of it.  After watching a sitcom almost a year earlier where the family was throwing pies in each other’s faces, Ben mentioned he’d like to get pieface for his birthday.  I think what he really wanted was to throw pie in the face of his family.  Nevertheless, I jotted it down on my tickler calendar, and surprised him with pie in the face for his 14th b-day.

As the pictures show, it doesn’t have to be your child’s actual birthday to have a special time and celebrate!  Calendars can be great for keeping us on schedule, but don’t ever let them take control and give you a reason to not celebrate a special occasion.  So whether you’re divorced parents or your kids are away at camp, go for it … a day, a week, a month later … it doesn’t matter.  Become a pie face family like we did, or celebrate in some new, fun way.  Whatever it is, just enjoy and have fun!

How do you like to celebrate with your family?  Any fun ideas for us to try out?  Or share some pictures of you getting pie in the face … come on … it’s fun!  Here are a couple more of us.

A family with pie in the face

Ben, my brother John, and I with pie in the face

Casey and Ben enjoying pieface

my sister-in-law Casey and Ben enjoying pieface

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about.me

Bruce Bradley

Bruce Bradley

I'm a father, food advocate, consultant, and author.

Bruce is a former processed food exec turned food advocate, blogger, and author.

Before his food advocacy work, Bruce worked for over fifteen years as a marketer at companies like General Mills, Pillsbury, and Nabisco. As one of the only former processed food marketers actively speaking out about concerns over the food we eat, the media often seeks Bruce out for his honest perspective. His 2011 interview, Confessions of a former Big Food Executive, was one of Grist online's Top 10 clicked stories for 2011.

Bruce now writes, performs speaking engagements, and provides business strategy and marketing consultant services to help ethical, sustainable businesses reach their potential.

Bruce graduated with an MBA from Duke University and a B.A. from Davidson College. Born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, he now lives in Minneapolis, MN with his son and their dog, Katie.

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