Marketing, The FDA, and Egg-less Mayo

As I sit here procrastinating on studying for my Medical Terminology final I have in exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes, I found this story at the top of my Facebook news-feed.

The FDA has decided that vegan Just Mayo is actually mayo after all

Without getting involved in the vegan-vegetarian-omnivore conversation vortex, as it is easy to do as someone studying holistic health (I mentioned that I only have an hour to procrastinate here), the marketing is really what this is about. And a bit about the FDA, of course.

I’ve had tons of articles pop up for me recently about small companies getting “warning letters” from the FDA about how they do business or how they market.  But I do not have the same feelings about each company and the “big bad FDA” (as proponents of green-washing want to tout) after each read.  Sometimes I am in agreement with the FDA. AHH! Aren’t you a student of holistic health? What is wrong with you!!  No, seriously. Sometimes what the FDA is requiring is within their jurisdiction. Other times it is not. It’s not personal, it’s set regulation.

So the Just-Mayo people were told they were not marketing correctly and that they needed to change their label since their mayo is vegan.  This is interesting, as if I recall Pringles can’t be labeled potato chips (I think they go by ‘crisps’) because they do not have enough potato content. And I know Nutella has had many issues, from not having enough cocoa to be called chocolate spread in Italy, to being sued for claiming itself a “health food”.   And what about the classic, sweet Miracle Whip?  So, who has the rights to the legal definition and labeling of mayo? Apparently the use of the word ‘just’ has to be defined.

From the article, “The new label clearly states that Just Mayo does not contain eggs. And CEO Josh Tetrick tells Quartz it will emphasize the word “just”—not as in “only” but as in “guided by reason, justice, and fairness.”

So this leads us to marketing. And what words mean.  And what companies mean when they use those words. And that really is the most important thing. Our culture wants to tell us what we need. And then it wants to sell it to us.  And we really shouldn’t believe a word of it at face value.  I guess we can say that it is sad to be held accountable, but for all the information out there we should be held accountable.  We can be aware of an awful lot. We can gain a good amount of knowledge on many topics.  So although ignorant purchasing is bound to happen while living a balanced life, if we really are trying to make an informed choice on something, we have the ability to do it.

So ask yourself some questions before buying into a brand:
What is this brand trying to sell me? (Lifestyle/Culture/Clique/Health)
Does it use an Us vs. Them method?
Are they open about their practices and research?
Do they have trusted, educated endorsers?
How old is the research?
Will it disrupt my balance or peace?
Can I separate myself from the brand?