Hello Ragu, Welcome to 2011. Dads can Cook!


What an obnoxious play on stereotypes. Ragu, yes that company that makes jarred sauces, is using moms to promote their latest recipe campaign with a YouTube video that insults dads titled Dad Cooks Dinner: What is Dinnertime Like When Dad Cooks?

So I obviously cook and can easily put a jarred spaghetti sauce like Ragu to shame in about 10 minutes with a few tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, carrots, and thyme. Out doing processed convenience food with fresh whole foods is easy, which is why most people should buy the ingredients and take the 10 minutes it takes to make a pasta sauce instead of reheating a jar of dehydrated onions, sugar and ‘cheese cultures’ into a saute pan (full ingredients here.) Plus the sauce has 7 grams of sugar? Why does it need sugar? Use shredded carrots and ripe tomatoes and there is no reason to add unnecessary ingredients.

Food quality aside the more troubling thing here is the brand’s reliance on outdated stereotypes. The video features several moms who share how poor their husbands are at cooking and while I’m sure they are not personally talking about all men, it definitely comes across that way.

Let’s flip the tables for a second.  If a tablesaw manufacturer did a campaign like this featuring a bunch of men saying how idiotic women are with power-tools would that be effective and responsible marketing? I highly doubt it.

Perhaps we'll all look back at how backwards 2011 was thanks to Ragu.

So please Ragu give modern families a break.  Your “idea” here might have been cute in Leave it to Beaver days but guess what a lot has changed and I know a lot of men who are the primary cooks at home.  Also, I’m not going to tell you that I’m never going to buy your product because truth be told I never did or ever would. I prefer making pasta sauce from scratch that no jar, not even the one’s twice the cost of yours can compare with.


Hat tip to C.C. Chapman who runs Digital Dads for sharing his thoughts about this video:  Ragu Hates Dads.

  • tdelano

    Wow, really?

    I grew up in a household where my mom did most of the cooking but it was actually when my DAD cooked that the food tasted good. (No offense, Mom!)

    I went on to marry a man who was VERY gourmet in the kitchen. He came from a family where both his mother and father cooked every day… and often several course meals. He would also get insulted by commercials insulting men who didn’t know their way around a grocery store or kitchen. Our television, when it wasn’t on sports, was tuned to the Food Network all the time. We threw around names like Giada, Mario, Emeril and the like as if they were close friends of the family. Honestly, most men that I know are excellent cooks.

    I was never taught to cook at home, obviously, but did learn to bake from my grandmother. When my husband and I divorced, I surprised myself at what I’d learned by being married and playing sous chef for 13 years. He still has me beat in the kitchen and at grill duty but I’m learning.

    You’re absolutely right that this campaign is insulting and outdated. Good for you for callin’ em out on it!

    (And I’ve never tried carrots in my sauce. My Italian Papa taught me a few years ago the recipe and demanded that I STICK TO IT! 🙂