Global food company Campbell’s has removed “Diwali Inspired Recipes”, which listed a beef recipe, from its website after Hindus protested calling it highly insensitive.
In an email to distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded this protest, Director of Diversity and Inclusion of Campbell Soup Company Elizabeth Campbell, wrote on November two: we recognize that this content is neither appropriate nor acceptable and have removed it from our site today…We are undertaking a review of our internal processes to ensure that something like this does not occur in the future.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked Campbell’s for understanding the concerns of Hindu community which thought listing a beef recipe under “Diwali Inspired Recipes” was highly inappropriate.
Rajan Zed, however, pointed out that a formal apology from Campbell’s Interim CEO Keith R. McLoughlin and Board Chairman Les C. Vinney to the upset Hindu community was still due, whose feelings were hurt by the linking of beef with Diwali; as Diwali was the most popular Hindu festival, which falls on November seven this year.
Zed suggested that Campbell’s and other companies should send their senior executives for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of customers and communities when introducing new products or launching advertising campaigns.
Rajan Zed had stated that consumption of beef was highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs. Cow, the seat of many deities, was sacred and had long been venerated in Hinduism.
Zed had noted that Hinduism was rich in festivals and religious festivals were very dear and sacred to Hindus. Diwali, the festival of lights, aimed at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolized the victory of good over evil.
“Stir-fried beef” was part of “Spicy Beef & Broccoli Pinwheels” which was listed among “most popular” five recipes at “Diwali Inspired Recipes” page on Campbell’s website, where it was called “simply elegant entrée”. Ingredients also included company’s Swanson Beef Broth or Swanson Beef Stock. “Celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, this autumn with Campbell’s Kitchen’s collection of inspired recipes”, it said.
Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Campbell Soup Company, founded in 1869 and whose “beliefs” include “We believe in the power of food to connect people”, “makes a range of high-quality soups and simple meals, beverages, snacks and packaged fresh foods”. Headquartered in Camden (New Jersey), it claims annual sale of over $8 billion and states that 95.8% of U.S. households have a Campbell product.