I was very pleased this weekend to be offered a free cloth bag at a farmers market. A lovely design with vegetables arranged to form a rainbow and it said "Be wonderful and wise". It couldn't be that somebody simply wanted to share love and light, could it?
When I got home, I saw on the back that it instructs you to "search 'wonderful and wise'" so, cautiously, I typed this into my computer, only to find that it was an advert for a processed corporate, spreadable "butter" that is yet further watered down from the previous already watered down product.

This spreadable "butter" contains only 27% butter, with 19% vegetable oil and an undisclosed percentage of water!
Pure butter does not require preservatives, but this one has potassium sorbate. Its data safety sheet states that whilst it has low toxicity, it has been implicated with allergies and, studies have indicated possible mutagenic and carcinogenic affects.
Even if this preservative were safe, alarm bells should ring when butter, a whole food which does not require preservatives, has been altered to where it does. Butter contains beneficial short and medium-chain fatty acids which have anti-microbial properties. Processed vegetable oils, in contrast, are comprised of fragile polyunsaturated oils which become damaged when subjected to the heat and high pressures required to process them to become spreadable.

From Wise Traditions London on Vimeo.

Vegetable oil used in spreads is made in a factory using tremendously complex processing, whereas butter is simply formed by grazing a cow, milking it, and then gently churning the cream. Butter, unlike processed vegetable oil, contains vitamins, minerals and beneficial omega 3 fatty acids. Vegetable oils are also a primary source of the excess omega 6 in modern diets.
Studies have shown that excess omega 6 can increase blood clotting, inflammation, high blood pressure, digestive irritation, compromised immunity, sterility, cell proliferation, cancer and obesity.
Butter Curls-(David Masters)

Butter Curls-(David Masters)

Of course, the Be Wonderful & Wise adverts tell us to use this product in all culinary situations. They also obsess on fresh vegetables in order that the viewer associate the product with health and nutrition. This should be considered as ridiculous as the television adverts which attempt to associate the use of toxic petrochemical based shampoo with unusual ecstatic arousal, when the actress in the advert massages shampoo into her hair shouting Yes, Yes, like a scene in When Harry Met Sally.

What is of greater concern is that this could be a sign that corporations are desperate to infiltrate grass roots farmers markets and regain market share from them. People should therefore complain to stallholders and market managers at their local farmers market if they see this, to nip this in the bud before further attempts are made to achieve product placement in farmers markets for corporate processed food.

Philip Ridley is London Chapter Leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation: westonaprice.org/london

Image by David Masters (Flickr: Curled Butter) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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