Tom Brady’s book cautions against the food products Tom Brady represents
The news that Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has a deal with Subway has sparked curiosity and confusion, given that fast food isn’t believed to be on the TB12 menu.
Then again, neither are potato chips. Last year, however, Brady appeared in a Frito-Lay TV commercial. He wasn’t eating or even holding Frito-Lay products in the commercial. Instead, he was polishing his then-new pewter helmet. Still, he appeared in a chip commercial, and he surely didn’t do it for free.
To highlight the disconnect between Brady’s views on food with his food partnerships, we took a look at his 2017 book, The TB12 Method. The chapter on nutrition includes a mini-essay titled “The Food Industry.”
“The way I see it,” Brady writes, “food companies are more like chemical companies than anything else. But we keep eating what they sell us and then wondering why the rates of disease and obesity are so high. Our bodies become toxic when we ingest toxic chemicals. . . . When I think about ‘food,’ I picture an avocado, a banana, a salad, a handful of nuts, or a piece of fish. I don’t picture a box of cereal, a tub of margarine, a box of doughnuts, a bag of potato chips, or anything else manufactured using salt, sugar, fat, additives, stabilizers, and chemicals. Food should look like, smell like, and taste like food. I’m not saying to never eat the foods I just mentioned, as I know they taste good (and are marketed well). But try to limit them and eat more real, organic, local food.”
Indeed they are marketed well. They’re marketed by playing guys like Brady, who leverage their fame to get people to buy what the marketers are selling.
And, yes, Subway’s sandwiches of processed meats and/or non-tuna tuna (allegedly) are supplemented with vegetables. But Brady’s essay on the food industry addresses the topic of mass-produced vegetables.
“Consider what the industry does to fruits and vegetables,” Brady writes. “Green apples, bananas, and tomatoes ripened by ethylene gas are available all year round, but are those real?”
Plenty of people shrug at the obvious disconnect, reasoning that few if any product endorsers actually use the products they endorse. (The Federal Trade Commission may have a different view of that.) But the reality is that Brady is collecting presumably large sums of cash from companies whose food is, based on his own views, contributing to the high rates of disease and obesity.
Right or wrong, it’s a significant disconnect. And it’s fair to ask whether a guy who already has more cash than he could ever spend in his lifetime should be cashing checks from purveyors of food products that he does not regard as actual food.