Last week, life imitated a Jerry Seinfeld episode when New York newspapers reported that Cream Lita’s supposedly low-calorie gourmet yogurt tastes so good because it has all the fat of premium ice-cream. Then the Wall Street Journal reported that Robert Ligon, a 68-year-old health-food executive, is going to start serving 15 months in a federal prison Tuesday. His crime: willfully mislabeling doughnuts as low-fat. Then there is the Mad Cow beef supply debacle.
Which story won’t cause permanent PR damage? The beef story.
On a famous Seinfeld episode, Elaine and Jerry became suspicious enough of the low-fat claims of a great tasting diet yogurt to have it tested at a lab. The result? The company’s claims were a lie.
In the doughnut case, as the Journal reports, “the low-fat doughnut is the Holy Grail of the food industry,” but perhaps no other food is as dependent on oil for its taste and texture. Low-fat versions have tasted like, well, low-fat versions.
There are palatable substitutes for low-fat frozen yogurt and for doughnuts. The diet conscious can eat low-fat pudding or cookies. Or, they could, as many nutritionists advise, simply eat less of the real thing. But for carnivores, nothing compares to a rare filet mignon.
In a largely carnivorous society, people want to believe cows are safe to eat. Why else would they continue to eat rare meat when the government repeatedly warns that meat should be well-cooked to prevent the spread of harmful and even fatal bacteria?
Public and media pressure will hopefully lead to reforms in the tracking of food origin and sooner or later, people are likely to return to their burgers.
Cream Lita could have a short hop to name recognition as a premium ice-cream and can mini-doughnuts be far behind? The PR campaign: The real thing: You know you want it.