Michelle Bridges has removed a controversial video from her Facebook account in which she calls people who grow their own food “freaks”.
The video is a commercial for her new frozen meals range for Woolworths which is now stocked in about 950 stores around the country.
The Michelle Bridges Soil Eating video was posted to Facebook on Friday morning but removed soon after following a growing social media backlash.
“Like everyone I grow my own vegetables. Isn’t that right darlings?” she says gesturing toward a garden of flowers before eating soil.
“It’s time to get real, eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to act like a freak.”
Before the commercial was removed from social media it was “liked” more than 800 times and described as appalling, offensive and ridiculous by Facebook fans of the The Biggest Loser trainer.
“We’ve listened to your feedback about the latest Michelle Bridges video and have removed it. Our intention was never to upset anyone,” a Woolworths spokesperson told Fairfax Media.
“As the fresh food people we know how passionate our customers are about fresh food. We share their passion and want everyone to eat healthily whether they grow their own or choose healthy foods from our supermarkets.”
A Clarence Valley fresh food producer is now calling on farmers to boycott Woolworths over the ad.
“WTF eating like a freak = healthy. So Michelle you prefer us to eat processed sugar-laden CRAP from Woolworths. Your integrity is about to die a slow and embarrassing social media death … Michelle Bridges = money crazed freak,” Esther Attewell wrote.
Bridges recently launched the range of meals which contain three serves of vegetables, grains, legumes and RSPCA-approved chicken at a lunch in Sydney. She said the majority of the produce contained in the microwave meals is locally sourced.
“The majority of the food is locally grown, we’ve got a couple of products from Spain but the majority of the food is from Australia,” she told Fairfax Media.
“There aren’t enough healthy, tasty options available in the freezer aisle which is why we’ve created delicious, balanced meals with vegies, healthy grains and protein.
“We live in a bubble in Sydney where fresh, organic food is easily accessible and affordable. In places like far north Queensland and Alice Springs, where I used to live, fast food is more convenient than fresh, nutritious meals.”
While the frozen meal genre isn’t the most visually appealing offering in this era of #foodporn, she admitted to eating the dishes “two to three nights a week” even during her pregnancy.
The now deleted “Top Soil” video is one of a series of humorous ads the supermarket has begun rolling out online.