This ad suggests that Kashi food products are “good”, that “we’re all connected”, and “all” can eat them. The bowl of cereal represents a staple in many households and communicates simplicity. The ad implies that USDA organic and non-GMO food products are attainable when in reality they are unaffordable. Organic and non-GMO foods may be sold in a greater abundance at Whole Foods, Fresh Street Market, Costco, but less so at conventional stores like Wal-Mart, Superstore, Safeway etc. where prices are lower. According to Business Outsider, Whole Foods is 15% more expensive than it’s counterpart grocers (Peterson, 2016). Whole foods, for example, is not accessible to all municipalities in the lower mainland even though it has higher, healthier food standards. In Vancouver, there are seven Whole Foods markets none of which are in Surrey, Richmond, Delta or Langley municipalities. A divide is created between who is deserving and undeserving based on income, class, geographical location, accessibility, educational level among other facets of one’s identity. According to the ad everyone deserves to eat food that is farmed well, sprouted well and maintains health. To continue with Whole Foods as an example, it prides itself on constantly increasing the range of organic, hormone-free, sustainable, and dietary food options. For families that are low-income it would not be in their best interest to commute and then spend an increased amount on groceries they can obtain from closer grocery stores. Although the use of pesticides, preservatives, additives, growth hormones etc. are increasingly becoming part of public knowledge, people with money and higher education levels have access to information and food that will improve their overall well-being while low-income “underprivileged” families do not. We are constantly told what to eat, how to eat, and what our bodies need by the government and private corporations but all families do not have equitable access to wholesome food.
A certain income (certainly not those within the Low Income Cut Off) and high costs of organic and non-GMO food create conditions of inequity for people of different social and economic backgrounds. My alteration focuses on income and high costs in four separate parts of the “jammed” ad. The first part is the stack of bills. I bloated the middle of the image and reduced the opacity to reveal the Kashi trademark between the stack of bills. The money is faded compared to the surrounding print to invoke a sense of invisibility because the organic and non-GMO certification required money of the company, yet the gain of the certification is not shared by “all” people. There is also a lack of transparency when the ad suggests everyone should and also can eat well. The second part is the addition of two phrases: “Who can afford it” and “If you are not low income.” Four phrases in the ad emphasize the goodness of Kashi food products. The phrases are reinforced by the organic and the non-GMO seal of approval. Kashi’s products are more expensive because it requires more money for the company to become certified organic and non-GMO and requires more expensive agricultural practices. The non-GMO project website states: “everyone deserves an informed choice,” and even includes the consumer’s right to access to good quality food in their mission statement (Non-GMO project, 2016). Naomi Klein discusses how neoliberalism ensures that the elites continuously prosper while middle and lower classes are deprived of resources, services and benefits (Klein, Cahn, Klein, 2008). The third part is the dollar signs placed adjacent to the arrows that connect the four phrases. These represent the fact that the process of creating wholesome food (by the provider) as well as the ability to enjoy and benefit from it (by the consumer) involves money. The fourth part is the colour blocking of the cereal bowl. Finally, fifty percent of the ad is shaded in green to represent the colour visible on the Kashi trademark, the USDA organic label, and the non-GMO certification. The colour blocking represents a divide in the ad. On the right side is an image of a grain, cereal with fresh blueberries, and earth symbol, and a tractor. On the left side is a single person (representing the small portion of the population who has full access to healthy foods), and a stack of money.
Klein, N. (2008). Shockwaves: How free market economics spread across the globe. World Literature Today, 82(2). Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/stable/pdf/40159666.pdf? refreqid=excelsior%3A50e21519b9f130231567e21413fc04ed
Peterson, Hayley. (2016). Here’s exactly how much you’re paying to shop at Whole Foods. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-more-expensive- is-whole-foods-2016-6
The Non-GMO Project. (2016). Mission. Retrieved from https://www.nongmoproject.org/about/mission/
Whole Foods Market IP. LP. (2017). Mission and values. Received from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/our-mission-values