Saturday, April 4, 2009

Drinking with the devil

Welcome to the Baby Feeding & Change Area... sponsored by Nestle Good Start. Huh? I guess I live in a relatively sheltered bubble where most people know (if not adhere to) the Nestle boycott and are marginally aware of the issues involved (even if they don't care about them that much).

But, man, does it ever give you a sense of the insanity of the commercial machine when you have a chance to see the world from the other side. Nestle and baby care are at complete odds - not just in the developing world, but here at home too. There's nothing wholesome about their products or the way they make them - but in so many places, they're the only voice.

I had an adorable interaction with a cashier at the Magic Kingdom - when she handed me the chocolate milk, it was Nesquik. Seeing my face fall (I had promised chocolate milk to restless kiddos outside in exchange for sitting in the stroller for 5 more minutes), she asked if anything was wrong. I said, "Well, I prefer not to buy Nestle products." Long pause. "Because there's a global boycott of Nestle, you see." Longer pause, then she answered, "Oh really? I never heard of that - why?" "Well, because their marketing practices especially of infant formula are in conflict with international rules and that harms babies." Longer pause. "Oh, uh, ok. The TG good milk is better anyway." With a smile. Gotta love the optimism.

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