Kevin Murphy, owner of Food-Chain Communications, recently trekked to the heart of the Corn Belt to speak at the American Dairy Science Association and American Society of Animal Scientists. The morning of his speaking event, however, Murphy was “presented with an undeniable and powerful case study in the Food Morality Movement.
The Hyatt Regency in Indianapolis, Ind., proudly promoted “food thoughtfully sourced, carefully served,” which included “organic, grass-fed yogurt” and “cage-free eggs.”
“It is more than ironic that I was asked to rouse animal scientists into recognizing the growing power of the Food Morality Movement and the reality that scientific conclusions are not winning the day but instead are being hijacked by food politics, giving way to communication aimed at raising moral criticisms over farming and our modern food system,” Murphy writes. “And, right there, under our noses, the chosen ADSA headquarter hotel was one of the Food Morality Movement’s newest rising stars -- The Hyatt Regency, with 508 locations in 46 countries! With that kind of market presence the Hyatt has the ability to influence millions of people every day with a global Food Thoughtfully Sourced campaign catapulting them into the category of the Chipotle of hotels!”
Despite being told that Murphy’s was the first complaint to have been received regarding Hyatt’s program, many praised Murphy’s article and mission.
“Your experience is a message to me to take my objections to higher authorities. I do voice my objections and try to educate when I encounter the subtle put down of modern agriculture in menus but the wait staff is where I stop. Hyatt management isn't hearing my objections because I'm not speaking to anyone in authority. That is my mistake. I'm a gold card member as well and when I am at the Hyatt in two weeks, I will follow your lead and take my objections to those who make the policy. Thank you for setting the example," one person commented.
Dairy Carrie, a blogger leading the charge against a similar Panera Bread campaign, also commented.
“So many thoughts about this,” She wrote. “Are agvocates weary and numb to much of the descriptors on menus and ads? Yes. I need to get my thoughts on the origins of how our food has become so overmarketed that this seems like the right thing to do to a company like Hyatt.. or Panera... or Chipotle.