Kraft Goes Gay Pride: Protestant Potlucks Hardest Hit

It slipped my notice that Kraft Foods had photoshopped an Oreo with gay-pride colors for an ad.

Thank God it’s not a real cookie; Michael Bloomberg would be so torn! On the one hand, it’s disgusting-looking; it looks like it would throw one into diabetic coma while also causing cancer from the numerous dyes. On the other hand, though, it’s gay pride. How could he not embrace it?

The trials of Nanny Bloomberg: to pander or to police?

Over at the Evangelical portal, Nancy French is wondering how the churches should react:

Well, the choices aren’t really that hard, are they?

After all, no one really likes the people who bring Oreos to the potlucks anyway.

My first thought ran along similar lines. As Catholics don’t really do potlucks (we have our Main Meal at Communion and then curse at each other as we fight to be first out of the parking lot) I thought of the Lutherans and Pot Luck Suppers of Lake Woebegone, and other casserole-friendly churches. Kraft foods is not just Oreos; it’s Cracker Barrel cheese (there goes the cheese tray); it’s Velveeta cheese and Ritz Crackers (goodbye Broccoli-Ritz Cracker Bake); it’s Breakstone Cottage Cheese (my fave) and Cadbury Creme Eggs; it’s Crystal Light and Stove-Top Stuffing, and Honeymaid Graham Crackers and Jell-o.

That’s right — there go your S’mores and those awful Jello Fruit Molds.

So some of you churches-with-potlucks who are contemplating boycotts will find themselves in a Bloomberg dilemma.

To cheese or not to cheese,
that is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler to suffer the slings and arrows
of sodium-swelled ankles
or to take arms against a sea change
of cultural sexual celebration
and by opposing end them.
To sigh; to Ritz-dip no more…
to end the heartache of a thousand
duplicate-tuna-melts that flesh
is heir to;
’tis a consumption devoutly to be wished…

Ah, well, Jesus never served Mac-and-Velveeta with sliced Oscar Mayer weiners, anyway. Who needs it?

There’s always a fish-fry — that’s biblical — or you can dip pita in hummus (yum).

I suggest you do what the Catholics do, when they absolutely must socialize: make a lasagna and a three-layer Mexican Bean dip with extra jalapenos; order a nice hero and a couple of salads from the deli and crack open some wine and beer. If you’re feeling ambitious, bake a few pies or rustle up the original rainbow cookies to munch on while the little girls do the Irish Step Dancing. Then have a raffle.

If you don’t eat jalapenos, drink or raffle stuff off, I don’t know what to tell you…

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • dry valleys

    I’ve actually been boycotting Kraft for some time, ever since they bought Cadbury’s. What was once a responsible and decent employer and producer of some great chocolates (founded by Quakers btw) became an outpost of plastic “cheese” makers. And it’s interesting that those who howl about “sovereignty” had nothing to say about takeovers of large companies and once publicly held utilities by foreign corporations, or the outsourcing that ensues.

    Yet I actually agree with their endorsement of Pride, and find myself not being bothered whether it’s through ethics or recognition that gays are often very well off and have a lot of disposable income to spend on the products of anyone they like. I’m almost tempted to start buying their products again, in order to show homophobes what I think of them. But then I think of how bad most of Kraft’s “offerings” are, and how much I abhor what they’ve done and persist in doing. So I’ll compromise by ceasing my boycott for half an hour, during which buy a packet of Ritz Crackers and eat them. Then I’ll go back to how I was :)

    It’s a sad world, isn’t it? To think that even a simple matter like going to the shop and buying your tea is political. But it is, and that’s what life is really like.

    Those looking for recipes for a large group may like to consider an aubergine curry, or eggplant as I think it’s known in America (also sometimes called brinjal). Perfect for summer.

    [Eggplant I want Indian food! -admin]

  • joannemcportland

    I think this is all sort of a tempest in a potluck, really. Kraft is frankly going after a marketing segment, not putting a stamp of approval on gay marriage. The funny part is, standard Kraft potluck items are pretty foreign to the (generalized) gay community table, so the evangelicals don’t need to boycott. No West Hollywood or Castro District Pride soiree is going to be caught dead with that stuff, so the dollars will be spent elsewhere next year. On, say, Jersey ShOreos, featuring cookies in the shape of oversiliconed breasts or ripped 6-packs, with mindless fluff filling.

    [What a great comment. And yes, no self-respecting gay party is going to have standard grade potluck food. -admin]

  • dry valleys

    I certainly agree with the above. That’s why I’d suggest that anyone who felt passionately about an issue should exercise consumer power. Kraft are probably indifferent to LGBT issues one way or the other, but they do want to make money. And if it’s made known that we will, for instance, not buy from companies that use slaves in the Third World, or cause gross pollution, then they’ll have to react to their base.

    It isn’t a substitute for regulation, but governments generaly won’t regulate… unless enough people lobby for it, which is to reiterate what I’ve just said.

    And I think you’d be surprised at how many people are gay without living up to the stereotypes. I’m sure some of them do eat Kraft and have never even seen San Francisco or the east coast. These executives are very clever people, and are neither bad nor good by nature, but driven to do whatever makes them money. Calculation will have gone into this, but does that matter?

  • Manny

    Do people realize that the gay population amounts to a paltry 1.7% of humanity? That’s just slightly over what they project as the autism rate. Why is society going to such extremes to accommodate and, frankly, suck up to such a small demographic. The whole gay obsession is obnoxious.

    [Two words: Disposable Income. -admin]

  • Debbie

    My first thought was – what do I do about those delicious Oreo truffles I make at Christmastime? (Thanks for the recipe, btw.)

  • Will

    Who says Catholics do not do potlucks? Our parish does.

    It really does not matter to most of us what Kraft does on commercials. You just tape shows and speed by the commercials.

  • Kelley

    On my way home from Mass on Sunday I was walking through the pride event here in San Francisco. I saw something that was truly an abomination and I will forever be scarred by what I saw. There was a booth selling deep fried Twinkies!

  • Fr. Frank

    I’m agnostic about the jalapeños, but I’m all but certain that if you don’t drink beer or buy raffle tickets your Confirmation didn’t take.

  • Peggy R

    I don’t know who makes them, but the Walmart version of Oreos, particularly the evilly good choco center is pretty darned good. There are many store brands that are pretty good at various retailers. But I don’t want to patronize Target either as they’re bowing to the 1%, yes, w/disposable income, but it really can’t be that much $ since families w/kids have lots of things they need–food, kids constantly growing needing new clothes, toys, sports equipment, etc. It may not be disposable, ie for frivolous matters, but it needs to be spent, and wisely…

  • Renee

    Why make something that we could all agree with into something controversial?

    I know it is just a cookie, but Kraft made it about something other then the cookie.

    Yes, I may not be able to avoid Kraft entirely, but I will reduce my consumption.

  • Manny

    “Two words: Disposable Income. -admin”

    ?? I don’t get it. LOL. Huh?

  • Christian

    Go Hydrox.

  • piers quare

    I was told years ago by a gay classmate that why the lgbt flag used the rainbow – was for this kind of diversity So I don’t find the rainbow Oreo appetizing, and now I’ll have a hard time not seeing that ad whenever I see an oreo. Also I’m bothered by the usurpation of G-d’s symbol ofthe covenant of the Rainbow. I feel like the gay committee was snickering about their inside joke when they chose that symbol.

  • SKay

    I agree with your points Peggy R.

    The 1% win concessions because they are persistant and loud. The companies count on those who disagree being quiet and lazy. So far the companies are winning the gamble.

  • Daisy

    Hydroxide is an abomination.

  • Mark L

    I buy store brands anyway. Why waste money on a name?

  • Sherry

    The thing is, we’d like a cookie to just be a cookie. And the arguement ground keeps shifting, so that now, if you affirmatively don’t shop for those brands, you are homophobic –or so the thinking will go. And as more corporations adopt these sorts of We stand for this moments, we will have to make discernments that frankly make shopping more annoying than it already is. It isn’t just Kraft, it’s also General Mills and Starbucks and JCPenney’s and Target. Do we not think if say Kellogg’s decided to be in favor of DOMA, there would be a howling outrage and demand that they alter their corporate policy –the way Susan Komen had to adjust their new policy so that Planned Parenthood could get its cut?

  • K Gerard

    The thing that irritates me is large corporations telling people how to think — a by-product of the “Marketing-Human Resources Complex” that administer large corporations without actually being involved in the basic products. Something to try: instead of going to the large supermarket, go to an IGA, or some small family store. Check out the smaller regional brands, try something different. Most of these companies are smaller family businesses that are producing quality products, too busy to “impact society.” For example, Fould’s mac & cheese is so much better than Kraft. I don’t know what their position is on gay marriage, they don’t seem to think it necessary to tell me.

  • deiseach

    As a foreigner who bought a packet of Oreos when they became available over here, I have to say: they’re okay as a biscuit, but nothing special.

    dryvalleys – thanks for an explanation for what has been puzzling me! I saw a new Philadelphia Cheese with Cadbury Chocolate spread and could not understand how this came to be (I tried it, by the way, and it is an abomination. Truly horrible! Neither cheese nor chocolate!)

    Fr. Frank, you’re correct. If there isn’t a raffle, it’s not Catholic ;-)

  • doc

    Wrong 2 words Anchoress:

    Designated Victims

    Oil company execs have disposable income and you won’t see them getting any love from pandering corporate worms like Kraft.

    The Nurse Bloomberg dilemma was funny…that it was echoed by our resident socialist Brit was even funnier.

  • TXRed

    Since I no longer care for Cadbury Eggs (too much “fondant” in the US versions), maybe I’ll give those up in protest. ;) And if you can find it, try Wacky Mac. The pasta comes in all sorts of shapes, and it is kosher-dairy (and cheaper than the Brand-That-Shall-Not-Be Named).