Spinning Food: The Stealth PR Tactics Industry Uses to Shape the Story of Food

The food and agrochemical industry spends billions of dollars every year to shape consumer demand for their products and public perception about their practices. Some of this vast spending underwrites the most visible form of this narrative shaping: advertising. But billions more are spent around the globe on strategies to shape the story of food without industry fingerprints. 

Anna Lappé joined thousands of people around the world at the 2021 Oxford Real Farming Conference to talk about reporting she and colleagues have been doing on the stealth tactics of industry to shape what we believe about food in order to influence the policies and regulations that most impact the bottom line. “The pesticide industry isn’t using the Big Oil and Big Tobacco public relations playbook, they helped to write it,” as Anna says. In this keynote, Anna talks about the power of narrative, breaks down public relations tactics used by the agrochemical industry, and reminds us of a truth the industry tries to deny: we do not need pesticides to feed the world. 


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