This is part of the series about the Taste of Penn.
I'm very picky and judgmental, especially when it comes to food and food companies. I suppose this is why I'm interested in talking to representatives, because it offers me the "inside" (or however "inside" they feel like showing) of the company philosophy, and their attitudes (seem to) demonstrate to me sincerity. Or something. I don't really know, but attitudes do matter.
My first impression from meeting the representative from Pulmuone Wildwood was that she was really cheery and devoted. She pushed the sample to me, urging me to eat it and she spewed out the benefits of eating organic/soy/etc. I guess it seemed a bit belittling, because, hey, I'm not a complete neophyte. I told her the soy veggie burger patty and the tofu were delicious (it was true. They were scrumptious!), and she thanked me and moved on to feeding other people. About half an hour later, I came back to take a picture and I told her I was going to blog about her company. She kept repeating, "Don't forget to write about how we are about sustainability, and how our products are made with the best ingredients..."
I'm not actually sure what she said because she kept repeating herself and stuffing in more facts, but the general gist is the cliche "we sell organic, healthy, better-for-you food".
This blog is an advertising tool. Or, it's a reverse-advertising tool, because I will end up butchering the company profile (in the next paragraph).
At one point in her spiel, she mentioned the word "celiac", and it wasn't in a good way.
"...and did you know that in the 1970s, when there was a rise in GMOs and transgenetic products, there was a rise in celiac disease? Celiac was rarely diagnosed before; but after the rise in transgenic foods, it doesn't take much to see the correlation...And with that rise was a rise in obesity and heart disease and other things, all because of the rise in these GM foods, and our foods are organic and completely healthy...."
Celiac disease wasn't diagnosed before because it wasn't seen as a disease, much like how diabetes wasn't seen as a legitimate disease in the Middle Ages. Celiac is a genetic disease when you have issues digesting gluten. It has nothing to do with freakin' GMO! Chances are, if someone can engineer wheat without gluten, people with celiac disease can actually end up eating wheat flour! And honestly, how can you merely conclude that a rise in GMO caused a rise in disease? What about flour refinement? Increased caloric intake? More sedentary lifestyles? There is no "one" answer, and CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION! So, I just lost some/all respect for the representative/company. I'm not really sure what that means, because I'd still eat their food because it's delicious, but I believe that the company image in my mind is completely dented now.