First, let me say that I am not going to be talking about all ‘mommy bloggers’. If you are a ‘mommy blogger’ that actually cares about nutrition and won’t sell out your soul for a free box of cookies, or a free trip to a conference, then this post is not about you. However, if every other post on your blog is a contest for a free product, you give mad props to places like McDonald’s for their lame attempts at trying to appear healthy, or you give glowing reviews of really unhealthy food products and call them healthy then I am knocking on your door.
The whole ‘mommy blog’ phenomenon is a corporate food producer’s wet dream. For one these blogs usually have huge online audiences that hang on their every word and will go out and purchase any product they praise without question. They figure, hey they’re a mom so they must care a lot about the food that they are serving their children. For some reason some people think that moms have special powers, that they can detect healthier foods than people who aren’t moms. Sorry to tell you this folks, but moms can be just as naive and stupid as the rest of us. Giving birth does not give you any more insight into health and nutrition than being a childless old woman with a bunch of cats.
These ‘mommy bloggers’ ,with the somewhat naive natures and the tons of followers, actually believe that these companies care about the health of their children. For example, the companies send them free cookies with the promise that they are nutritious with added minerals and vitamins, and that their children will just love them. Then to look even more better in the eyes of these women they will even sponsor a contest on their blog to send out a sample of their product free to a lucky follower! For the company this is a win win kind of deal, because not only do they get a glowing review from a ‘mommy’ they also get all of her followers out to the stores searching for their product. Now, don’t think that these women are totally naive, because quite often these blogs will have a page devoted to the rules that they set concerning receiving free products. Seriously, some of the read like legal paperwork. Sometimes I even wonder if these blogs are run by food companies masking as ‘mommy blogs’ in order to try to connect to their intended consumer base.
Reality is a bitch, because in truth these companies really don’t care about the ‘mommy blogger’ at all. All they care about are the number of people who will rush out and buy their product. All of this makes the ‘mommy blogger’ look like a hypocritical liar to those people who actually read product labels and know better than to trust these companies. Promoting an unhealthy product and then bragging about how your children love it makes you look like nothing but a corporate tool. These bloggers may have a lot of followers, but in terms of quality content they are sorely lacking. If you Google WhoNu? cookies for example you will easily find a ton of ‘mommy blogs’ promoting and giving away free product. The majority of the rest of the content will be yet more positive food reviews and giveaways, with maybe an occasional article about their weight loss or what their little Sally did at school.
Companies will even go to blogger conferences such as the one held in San Diego for BlogHer. Not only that, they sponsor them! Companies such as Pfizer and McDonald’s, among others, sponsored this years BlogHer event and even flew in ‘influential mommy bloggers’ that help promote their brands on their blogs. Shouldn’t they be reporting on the nefarious crap that these corporate liars spew instead of taking their money? I guess everybody has their priorities, and it seems like those particular bloggers are more interested in money than promoting a healthy lifestyle. McDonald’s USA President Jan Fields hosted a ‘Listening Stop’ at the conference, inviting the ‘mommy bloggers’ to talk with her about the company’s nutritional content in their food aimed at children. This video shows a little of what happened and it should come as no surprise that they were given free food and it didn’t appear that any hard questions were asked of Fields. If there were any really serious allegations made at it concerning how McDonald’s serves really unhealthy food they were probably edited out, but it really doesn’t seem like they were there for that. It feels like that just sat back and listened to the garbage that Fields said, ate their free food and then afterwards praised McDonald’s on Twitter and Facebook. That’s not the worst of it though; they will actually pay ‘mommy bloggers’ to fly out to their corporate headquarters, and to the farms that supply their ingredients, in order to pitch to them how healthy their food really is. I don’t know what is sadder, the fact that these women praise McDonald’s or that McDonald’s is using these women to get bonus points from the public in general.
What it boils down to is that the only person you can totally trust when it comes to your health is yourself. Always question people when they promote a product and ask about what ingredients are contained within it. It is better to be an informed consumer than to fall for overly marketed hype.