George Orwell warned of “Doublethink”, the ability to simultaneously hold two opposing ideas as true, as one hallmark of our descent into totalitarian rule. It seems that marketers are experts at this, which means we are well into the mind-machine of which Orwell warned. Case in point:

About 15 years ago we began to see “Ultrafiltered” milk on store shelves. It went by different names including, “Microfiltered”, and “Pure Filtered”, or just “Filtered”. Food scientists had discovered that if you passed milk through an ultra-fine filter you could remove most of its natural bacteria which cause it to ultimately ferment and spoil. This could dramatically improve shelf-life, often doubling or tripling it; a terrific economic benefit for the dairies. Problem was, the milk also lost all its “milky” flavor. “No problem” said the marketers, we’ll just re-brand the taste as “fresher, cleaner”. I’m sure you’ve all seen the ads touting this type of milk as “pure and fresh, with a clean taste” or words to that effect. If you have any doubts about how milk has been transformed, get yourself a quart of regular microfiltered store milk and one of organic milk of the same fat concentration. Night and day. The organic milk will transport you right back to your childhood with its rich, creamy taste. The Frankenmilk? Tastes like water! But BEWARE OF MICROFILTERED ORGANIC MILK! Those clever bastards have every base covered!

Now comes the doublethink. In recent years “probiotics” have become the darlings of the food industry, touting the beneficial health effects of natural bacteria in foods, especially yogurt, which is….fermented milk! It turns out that the same bacteria that ultimately spoil milk, also help cultivate a healthy digestive tract. It seems that marketers can manipulate and twist anything to suit their goals…and we just sit back like fools and take it. Truth-in-advertising….what a load of horse-hockey.

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