It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And that means its also time for Santa’s naughty list. Of course, he always gives me the honor of assisting him on this and I’m happy to help.
Admittedly, this year was a hard one. Not because there weren’t 10 really good candidates. But because the whole year legitimately deserved to be on the naughty list. I was able to narrow it down though.
So without further ado, I present Santa’s Naughty List 2020.
10. Cameron Diaz
This one was just so dumb, I had to include it. Cameron Diaz and her bestie debuted their organic, clean wine brand this year. Diaz proudly stated: ““If you’re not drinking wine with organically grown grapes, you’re drinking pesticides — it’s nothing you want inside of you.” Not only is that just wrong, it completely misses the elephant in the room. Alcohol is a carcinogen. And you’re a thousand times more likely to get cancer from that, than ever see a negative effect from pesticide residue.
9. British Petroleum
It seems like a lifetime ago, but in January BP was promoting its carbon-footprint calculator. And, you guessed it, the gas company suggested people give up red meat in order to fight climate change. You have to be pretty ballsy to make ridiculous amounts of money selling gasoline and then suggest that Joe from Main Street needs to stop eating steak. Santa’s not impressed.
8. Organic Valley
I have to agree with my fellow AGDAILY writer, Food Science Babe; Organic Valley is one of the worst offenders. OV loves to use fear-based marketing on its packaging. And it isn’t even remotely truthful and honest with consumers. This year they’ve debuted television commercials making false claims. You would think that they could just promote their products without using unethical tactics? But coal is pretty organic…
Cargill isn’t a stranger to the naughty list. A few years ago it sold farmers out when it partnered with The Non-GMO Project. This year Cargill potentially topped that by becoming an industry partner with actress Gwenyth Paltrow’s GOOP. It’s literally not possible to find someone more steeped in “woo” and dangerous “wellness” advice than Paltrow. But Cargill saw the profit in the unregulated supplement business and went for it. Cargill might as well sleep in on Christmas morning.
6. Michelob Ultra Pure Gold
Why is the Super Bowl now the platform for farm-offensive commercials? Michelob brought it again this year with its 6 for 6-pack campaign. It told consumers to pick up a 6-pack of beer, and Michelob would pay to transition six square feet of farmland to organic production. But that translated to 7,260 six packs of beers to transition one acre. Virtue signalling is predictable and just naughty.
5. Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown
Plant-based meats have been increasing in popularity as a way to fight climate change (except, meat isn’t the culprit everyone believes it is). Impossible Foods emerged as an industry leader as it teamed up with some fast-food chains. And while I wouldn’t dismiss the idea automatically, the company’s CEO ruined it for me. He ridiculously claimed animal agriculture “is the most destructive technology ever.” Santa will no doubt leave coal under his tree, and it might be the most ironic gift ever.
If you followed my blog closely this year, you know that I was diagnosed with cancer and went through chemotherapy. It was tough and scary, especially during a pandemic. But I also found incredible love and support from so many people. So, screw you, cancer.
3. Environmental Working Group
EWG is a regular on Santa’s naughty list. Why? Because they’re always doing something bad, including the dirty-dozen list and the annual antibiotics-in-your-meat scare. We might hope that during a global pandemic, which disrupted food supplies and caused shortages, EWG would be decent enough to stop with the scare tactics. Unbelievably, it didn’t. So EWG released a list of allegedly dirtiest food in the midst of lock downs, anxiety, and uncertainty. Unreal.
2. Consumer Reports
If it wasn’t for the pandemic, CR would top this year’s list. It (almost literally) copied EWG’s dirty-dozen list with another ridiculous list falsely scaring people about pesticide residues. And then it got mad when I called them out on the lies. Here’s the thing: if you’re going to slander family farmers and the product of their work, I’m going to call you out on it. Especially when it’s all a farce. Enjoy your coal.
I think we can all agree that the coronavirus pandemic made this an extremely trying and difficult year. We’re all trying to balance safety, family, friends, e-learning, and work. It’s caused disruptions in our food supply (and the supply of other essentials). And it’s turned the entire world upside down. I don’t know if Santa normally delivers gifts to viruses, but COVID-19 doesn’t even deserve coal.