A Lesson for Big Grocery Chains: Don’t Call People Who Grow Their Own Vegetables ‘Freaks’

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“Eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to act like a freak.” It seems like a simple enough declaration, but that line in a recent ad from the Australian grocery store chain Woolworths upset a lot of people who grow their own vegetables after they decided that the jab was intended for them.

The spot which features Michelle Bridges, famous down under as the host of their version of The Biggest Loser, showed the well-known personal trainer sitting in her garden talking to her vegetables and literally eating dirt. The joke was intended to show how healthy eating could be accomplished much more easily by grabbing one of Woolworths’ “Delicious Nutritious” prepackaged meals. From this side of the Pacific, I can’t pass judgment on the accuracy of that name. But the ad didn’t go over as planned. People on social media, as they often do, freaked out over, ironically, how they didn’t want to be called freaks.

As Munchies pointed out, many people let their freak flag fly by posting photos of their vegetables on Twitter, which honestly, looks a bit weird in your feed. That said, obviously there is nothing wrong with growing your own vegetables. If anyone should be offended, it’s people who eat dirt. They were the biggest target here.

Still, Woolworths eventually decided to pull and apologize for the ad. “As the fresh food people, we know how passionate our customers are about fresh food,” they said in statement. “We share their passion and want everyone to eat healthily whether they grow their own or choose healthy foods from our supermarkets.” They did, however, stop short of proclaiming, “Go eat dirt! That’s fine! Who cares?! What is wrong with everyone?! Ads are supposed to be dumb!”

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