By Melody Bergman
This article is part of a series by the J.B. Watkins PTA Digital Safety Committee.
There is an old saying, “Seeing is believing.” But can we really say that anymore? Most of us know we’re surrounded by photoshopped people in the media. But did you know they photoshop food, too? Here are some fun facts to share with your kids!
Below are some techniques advertisers use–in addition to photoshopping–to get your salivary glands flowing:
-Huge delicious turkey on the table? Not quite. It’s more likely undercooked, stuffed with paper towels, and painted by an artist to get that perfect crispy brown color.
-Real milk? Nope. It looks too transparent, so they use white glue.
-Yummy pancakes with delicious syrup? Actually, they are probably sprayed with scotch guard so they don’t get soggy and then covered with motor oil–not syrup! Motor oil is less transparent photographs better.
-Smooth creamy ice cream? Nope! It would melt under the lights. They use cold, colored mashed potatoes instead. Mmmm …
-Shiny red strawberries? Likely touched up with a little lipstick.
-Perfect grill marks? Mascara.
But why do they pull these tricks on us? The answer is: MONEY! Companies believe that if they make food look perfect, then we will be more likely to buy it. Knowing the tricks behind the trade? Now that’s media literacy!
(This is an excerpt from “Believe What You See? Teaching Kids to Interpret Media Illusions,” originally published on Educate and Empower Kids.)
Melody Harrison Bergman is a mother and step-mom of three awesome boys, founder of Media Savvy Mamas, and head of the PTA Digital Safety Committee at J.B. Watkins Elementary.