Authentic of large scale industrial production? Foto from this blog

Most food publicity has been done by the big companies selling their products on the world scale. Products which are usually so called processed foods: some ingredients put together to create something which always has the same flavor and appearance and which we all seem to like and which off course contains a lot of fibers, less sugar or whatever can add up to your good health. Things I usually don’t believe before I’ve read what else is in the package. More fibers but also lots of sugar? Real chocolate but without a good life for the farmer? Authentic flavor added through hypermodern chemicals?

Last weekend I visited a luxurious food event. It was set up in a big room in one of Milans biggest museums for modern art. Already from the posters which I’ve seen in the city I knew it would be kind of posh.

The event was well sponsored. This wasn’t only visible on the posters, flyers and the ‘Welcome to the event’ signs but also in the program. Round table ‘discussions’ with three persons all from the same company explaining how well they are organized, how many years they already produce organic products, etc. doesn’t lead to real discussions. After 10 minutes I couldn’t stand it anymore and walked away to have a look at the other stands.

Then something got my attention. I saw some flyers from Italian producers producing typical Italian products as it has been done for centuries. I suddenly realized that during the last months I had already visited some events where producers and vendors tried to sell me these kinds of products. And sometimes I even believed it because it all looked so real, so original and so well meant.  

But this time I was skeptic. Normally commercial budgets are only available for producers with high outputs and which can create a strong (inter)national market position. Will that be different in Italy? I don’t know but I don’t think so. A good product does sell itself. It doesn’t need to be published in glossy magazines and flyers to be attractive.

So what did I learn? I need to be more careful. Not every type of publicity is bad and means that I might be caught by a large producer. But also not every producer telling us how authentic his product is, really is authentic in a way that he produces on a small scale with only the help of his family. But also this isn’t bad. Stay alert.