Mobile Farm or Vending Machine?


By Suzanne Lenzer

It seems like a good thing: Lay’s–the potato chip people–have a mobile farm set up in Times Square to help educate people about where their food comes from. It’s cute. There’s the “mobile farm” itself, with live plants and nice baskets of vegetables next to each one to help identify what’s actually growing; there’s a section where you can have your picture taken with a farmer (or at least someone wearing a straw hat); and there are a couple of very nice people handing out plastic cups with basil seeds inside so you can grow your own fresh herbs at  

Sadly I was alone at the basil handout table, and the mobile farm wasn’t exactly packed either. The crowd was swarming a guy under a sign that read “Proudly supporting America’s potato farmers” who was handing out bags of Lays chips. The best of intentions I suppose, but if they really wanted to get people into planting basil they probably should have left the free chips back at the farm.

Posted in Farming, Food Politics


  1. Anonymous said...

    You can lead a horse to water, but, more often than not, he’ll drink the Kool-Aid instead.

  2. lx69 said...

    This is exactly what infuriates me. This is basically the "greenwashing" that I despise from companies. "Learn about the plight of the potato farmer, and here is a box of McD’s fries." Also…I wish people would really start making connections: seeds in PLASTIC cups. Cups which will momentarily be disposed of in the garbage (if we’re lucky). There are no connections being made. A valiant effort with disappointing, but usual, results. This is on par with Wal-Mart going "green." Yea right.

  3. SpecialEm888 said...

    I was *so* waiting for the Lay’s ads to show up as "This S#!* Has Got to Stop, Pt. X." I mean, really. That Lay’s is associating itself with whole foods is terrible–an insult to the American public.

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