Today we welcome a contribution by Irene Parker and her Great Nephew. In his contribution he has a very unique take on how corporations view their products and the consumers. Personally I never thought of looking at it in the way he has, Inside Timeshare believes you will find the parallels quite plain.
The adulteration of food and vacations by Great Nephew and Irene
The difference between your grandma’s timeshare and private equity ownership
What I have started to think when it comes to timeshare ownership and the future of the industry…
There is a parallel between food and vacations. According to Joanna Blythman, British author of Swallow This, “The paramount goal of the modern food processing industry isn’t giving us healthy, life-sustaining food, but manufacturing lucrative products at the lowest possible production cost, using every trick in the book. It is aided and abetted in this mission by powerful supermarkets that have more to gain from selling us complex, multi-ingredient products than honest-to-goodness whole foods. The processed food industry, which is closely aligned to the global chemical industry, takes full advantage of weak regulation.”
As Inside Timeshare previously published, written by an advocate and senior manager in corporate America, we compare his take on timeshare today and Aaron’s take on the food industry today.
There have always been just enough companies that seem to try and deliver a quality product and quality customer experience at the same time they balance trying to make a healthy profit. I think of a brand like Disney first and foremost.
In the last decade it appears what may be described as large predatory financial engineering companies almost “posing” as timeshare companies have risen and aggressively worked every loophole and non-regulation to their own advantage and now are probably guilty of gross violations of their fiduciary responsibility to their customers / owners. These companies have created vast fortunes for a very small network of individuals at the top of the pyramid.
As these quasi financial engineering / timesharing companies become increasingly more brazen in chasing profits by any means possible, raising fees rapidly at the same time they are reducing owner benefits, due to their increased sheer size.
So how does this relate to food?
My (great!) nephew has just been accepted at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Ottawa, Canada. I asked to read a copy of the letter he wrote that resulted in his acceptance. Little did I think his words would jump out at me paralleling what is happening in the timeshare industry and I suspect other industries worldwide – the depersonalization of goods and services?
By Great Nephew
I have been working in a personal kitchen for the past six years, making meals for family, friends, and acquaintances as a means of funding my pursuit of acquiring an in-depth knowledge of linguistics. I have also been studying cuisine in depth for years as I wanted to improve my skills at what I told myself was just a means of getting through college.
One day, I went to a store about an hour away from my house to look for a wider range of ingredients to make another dinner. I searched through the assortments of cheeses and olives, and I eventually came to the area for the preparation of fresh meats. It was a sight worth seeing – Yellowfin tuna filets, salmon steaks, swordfish steaks, living lobsters, crab arms, massive prawns, scallops, oysters, and more were on display. Suddenly, I heard two of the poissonniers in a distant corner of the work area having a conversation. I heard one of them say, “Why do we keep putting all this out? We keep throwing it away every day because no one buys it.”
I was stopped in my tracks. A horrible reality suddenly presented itself. These were ingredients fit for royalty, and they were being thrown away? With the money that I had available, I purchased one tuna filet, one swordfish steak, and over a pound of scallops. I was hesitant to spend so much money, but the thought that all of the animals had been killed just to have their meat get thrown away haunted me. This store belonged to a conglomeration. The thought that thousands of stores like this all over the United States, doing such ethically unacceptable behaviour gave me no small amount of pause. It has been about three years now, but I have never forgotten that conversation.
I no longer see cuisine as just a means of making money. I see it as the funeral service of what once was a living thing. Living things go into us, and the result is that we live. I have no objection to killing and eating animals. Civilization has survived since humanity began by eating meat. What I strongly object to is unethical behaviour. Things we eat deserve respect.
I look at fast food, and I see a corruption of an animal being served to someone in an unhealthy haste. In the theatricality of haute cuisine, the animal is elevated, honoured, and remembered as being much more than just something that inevitably goes to waste.
Yes, I think Inside Timeshare readers will see the similarity. We’re not going to do away with food chemicals and preservatives, and timeshare is not going back to the day when a member could see, feel and touch what was once deeded real estate, but business motivated only by greed is what chefs like my nephew and writers like Charles Thomas and I will continue to combat. Can there be a meeting of the minds? I’m not a food expert, but a timeshare company like Disney, following decades of solid corporate responsibility, will continue to be a beacon to all.
Thank you for that wonderful insight, today’s article has been different to what we usually publish, but I do believe that it does go right to the point, Corporate Greed!
If you have any comments or would like any information on any of the articles published, contact Inside Timeshare, we would be pleased to hear from you.