Did You See that Superbowl Commercial for Kale?

No. Of course not.

Of the twelve food commercials during yesterday’s superbowl, all were for junk food and liquid candy:

What you need to know:

Let’s just say outright that we enjoyed the commercials very much. Lots of creativity. Overall, the quality was higher than in past years.

However, it’s a sad commentary on the state of our country that the food industry’s top brands are for products that make us weigh twice as much as football players. With all their game gear on.

Not that sweets and soda pop are taboo. But the incessant drone of commercials and ads, culminating in the annual Superbowl commercial fest cause people to consume way too much, and much too frequently. Cola is not something you should be drinking with every meal. Chocolate candy is not a dessert to be consumed after every lunch.

Imagine if kale and other leafy vegetables would have the advertising budget of Coca Cola Or PepsiCo. Nothing wrong with eating an orange every day, or a tomato, or bok choy. Unfortunately, produce is not backed by any big brand with megabucks to spend on marketing.

What to do at the supermarket:

Forget the Superbowl commercials, and everyday commercials that usually promote the worst a supermarket has to offer nutritionally. Choose the less processed products.

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  • Emily

    On a side note, kudos to Skechers for getting fitness in the form of awkward-bottomed shoes on the unbelievably-expensive-Superbowl-commercial map.

    And then we take them away for scantily-clad Kim Kardashian wearing those Shape-Ups.

    Watched that commercial while sitting next to my pastor. :(

  • http://www.feedyourheaddiet.com Ken Leebow

    When watching an NFL game, this is the typical food commercial: http://bit.ly/4QikjZ Yep, the message is clear: This is why we are fat.

    Frequently, I use it for inspiration for … what not to eat.

  • Dan Ellis

    You probably missed the kale commercial because it was BANNED…

    http://features.peta.org/VeggieLove/Default.aspx [video]

    Yes, PETA is highly unorthodox and most of the time inappropriate, but, their sexism is no worse than anyone else out there.

  • http://www.rochesternutrition.com Carol Plotkin

    I find that the Super Bowl represents many things about American culture that are not good, from sexism to ads for junk food to super-sized athletes. It’s repulsive to me!

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    The SuperBowl has become a reflection of American society in so many ways. I think this just proves it.

  • Charlotte

    I’m not American. My husband is. Generally, we get along fine. Except when it comes to ads. I never grew up with ads on TV. When I as a teenager moved to the Netherlands, where they have a limited amount of ads on TV, my parents and I got in the habit of muting the ads. This habit sticks, even today. Either I mute the ads, go away and do a chore whilst it runs, or preferably, I record the show and watch it later, without ads.

    My American husband HATES this habit. He will actually sit and actively watch the ads. It baffles me. It truly does. As I am sure my ad-habit baffles him.

    That brings us to Superbowl… Now, he didn’t actually watch much of it this year (Bears wasn’t in it.) But he again sat and watched the ads. My American Facebook friends kept updating their statues with which ads were their favorite.

    It just leaves me speechless. THEY ARE ADS! They are there to get you to buy more sh… I mean stuff! As much as we’d like to think: Oh, but I know better, I’m not affected. It is NOT true. We all are affected, even me. And the marketing firms who make these ads, KNOW this. A while back, we had left over cottage pie for dinner. It wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t sexy. Then I saw an ad for Red Robin (burger joint) (husband had the remote, so no muting) and I SO WANTED THAT BURGER. My husband had his shoes on, and was on his way out the door, when I said, no wait. What are we doing? We have dinner on the table. It’s free and certainly more healthy than those burgers. Why spend $20 (which we don’t have) on burgers (laden with calories).

    So yes, that’s my point: Watch the ads, spend more. It’s a billion-dollar industry for a reason.

  • http://www.foodieformerlyfat.com Foodie, Formerly Fat

    Funny story related to this… Sunday night for dinner I made a London broil with potatoes and sauteed spinach. I thought my six year old would taste the spinach and then move on to the potatoes. Well, she LOVED them and got really upset when her father and I finished it before she could have seconds!

    The BEST advertisement for healthy food, in my opinion, is having it freshly prepared at home and watching people enjoy eating it. That’s how I’ve always gotten my kids to eat their veggies: I eat them! Surprise!

    Sauteed Spinach: http://foodieformerlyfat.com/2011/01/17/sauteed-spinach/

  • Stephanie

    speaking of tv advertisements, the tyson chicken nugget commercial really gets under my skin http://www.yourbizvids.com/view_video.php?viewkey=2b66dd17dcee2a3cb29f It’s just what parents of picky kids need: cute kids on tv being picky and only being satisfied by over-processed chicken nuggets from a bag.

    I wish they would stop playing this ad, it is just not setting a good example of eating a variety of foods for a well-balanced diet.

  • http://www.thesilverlining.ca Derek

    Yes, the day we see a superfood in a superbowl is the day Coca-Cola sponsors the rainforest and comes out with Camu Coke. Not bloody likey.

    I watch them on the superficial level mainly (entertainment) and try not get to worked up on their end result (disease). It works some of the time.

  • http://www.palateworks.com Carol

    A couple small companies actually make a “kale chip” snack — fresh kale tossed with nut butter, seasonings and nutritional yeast (adds lots of B vitamins — useful for vegans) then dehydrated to a crispy and very addictive crunch. Sodium could be lower, but it’s quite an improvement on your basic junk food. No Super Bowl ad budget, of course, and much of it is sold online (carried by some Whole Foods, etc.).
    Here is one of the manufacturers (probably the first to sell it, and I think the better one). Warning: very bright colors… http://www.blessingsaliveandradiantfoods.com/kaleinkrunch.html and here is the nutrition info: http://www.blessingsaliveandradiantfoods.com/nuin.html

  • Charlotte

    Oh my lord, Stephanie, your comment reminded me of something my sons pediatrician said. My 20 month old son doesn’t eat a lot (any) of meat, and the pediatrician suggested giving him chicken nuggets, because “kids seem to like those”. I had to do a double take, and said no, that would never happen. I am NOT starting him out on junk food now because he’s a “picky eater”. He’ll eat what’s on the table, and he has plenty of veggies to fill him up. And he gets plenty of protein from milk, cheese and yoghurt.

    No wonder kids are eating crap, if this is the advice they are getting from their doctors.

  • Jason

    Actually a Super Bowl ad for Kale is a great idea. You should run a campaign to get people to donate $1 or $2 to buy a commercial. Your ad will be a hit for a number of reasons:
    - Your ad will be an example to every complaint about Pepsi, McDonalds, and Doritos ads.
    - You will make history as the first blog to ever buy a Super Bowl commercial.
    - Your “David vs. Goliath” story will astronomical amount of extra publicity through interviews, Tweets and reTweets, bloggers, etc. so you’ll reach a lot of people.
    - Michelle Obama will invite you to the White House as positive example for change.
    - Although it’s pricey, Super Bowl ads always get talked about the following day, so your add has extra longevity.
    - Everyone who complains that “processed food is cheap but we pay for it in the end” will donate money. The minimum $1 donation but people are free to donate more if they want.

  • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Editorial Staff

    @Jason cool idea! thanks

  • Carol

    Love it!
    I’ll chip in at least $20, but only if we get the nonprofit rate — to give Madison Ave. and the TV networks a chance to show they “really” care about our health.

  • http://normayrnutritionist.blogspot.com/ Norma Iris Vidal

    I recently discovered your blog and iPhone app and I am going all over the kitchen scanning everything, lol. Good tool for when people go shopping and for preplaning. Have you thought of having a search option? Thanks great job!

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Thanks Norma! We will add search in an upcoming version.