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Friday, July 2, 2010

Now 49% Bloggier!

Today, Scotland (the guy, not the country) gave me the gift of fake butter. And actually, it wasn't even fake butter, it was the little tab that comes from the single-serving butter tubs that come with your toast at IHOP. I've gotten many strange gifts in my life. A boyfriend once gave me flowers he'd stolen off a grave. My mom has been known to wrap boxes of Kleenex and leave them under the Christmas tree for me. But used butter packaging was one I hadn't seen before.
Then he told me it would make for a good blog post. A butter blog? I wondered? I mean, I suppose butter comes from the Old English butere, which comes from-- Oh right. He wasn't suggesting I blog about butter (although all this talk of butter has me craving some movie popcorn), he was suggesting I blog about the fine print: "52% Whipped Spread."
52% whipped spread. 52% of what? Is it 52% whipped? Compared to having been whipped all the way? I mean, "whipped spread" isn't non-committal enough, that half of this stuff doesn't even qualify as spread? What does it qualify as?
Coming up with weasel words to describe semi-foods must keep a lot of writers in work. Velveeta isn't cheese, it's cheese food. 'Nilla Wafers contain no 'nilla. Your Coco Puffs are Bursting with Chocolatey goodness. What do you suppose they make chocolatey with? The only thing that tastes like chocolate is chocolate. They say carob does as well, but anyone whose mother has ever tried to tried to trick them with that little switcharoo knows that's a lie. I've got no idea what's in Cool-Whip, but you can bet it's not even in the same phylum as anything like whipped cream. 
And don't get me started on the crap they do to trick us poor dieters. Are you aware that multi-grain isn't the same thing as whole grain? And if 100% juice has added sugar, how is it 100% juice? Sugar isn't juice, as far as I know. And now that Weight Watchers gives bonus points for getting extra fiber, I've been noticing packages that say things like "3 Grams of Whole Grain!" Which isn't the same as three grams of fiber. Sneaky sneaky. 
Scotland mentioned the fact that 7-Up used to bill itself as "all natural," but was sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, which is anything but natural. He's wrong, of course. All matter that exists is made entirely of components that occurred in nature, or components whose ancestors occurred in nature. Can you really say that something comprised totally of natural things isn't natural? Silly Scotsmen. 
And what the hell is fat-free Half & Half? Half & Half is, I assume, half milk and half cream. Is fat-free Half & Half made from half milk and half milk? Perhaps it's half non-dairy creamer and half library paste. It most certainly isn't even close to half as tasty as the real deal.
I think, instead of tricking people by calling things what they're not, they should start tricking people by calling things what they are. We should start a company that buys up all the unwanted internal organs of animals and turns them into organic hot dogs. Or you could start a company and name it Lofat, and then sell Lofat bacon and Lofat lard. Right? Oh, and you know MGD 64? You could create a brand of beer called Beer 25.
What am I wasting time with this crazy blog for then? I've got people to rip off.


Cap'n Ergo "XL+1" Jinglebollocks said...

That Scotland guy sounds like a total card!! I think the three of us should get 2-gether sometime for a few brews...

Anonymous said...

I just read a book called In Defense of Food that covers a lot of this stuff. Once upon a time things like margarine had to be labeled "Imitation_____" I think they removed that rule some time in the 70s.

The book's thesis is "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." It has some suggestions on how to go about this: One of them is to imagine you're shopping with your great grandmother and don't buy anything she wouldn't recognize as food; another is to avoid foods that make health claims because (the author explains) they're mostly meaningless; Pay more for less food i.e. eat smaller portions of better qualithy food; don't buy food with 50 ingredients you can't pronounce . . .

It's sad that a book like that has to exist. Not only do we not know what to eat, we need to be re-educated about what is and isn't food.

One thing I really liked about the book is that it asserted food was meant to be enjoyed and that it was unhealthy to divorce it from its cultural context.

Brigid Daull Brockway said...

I'd like to read that book - I'm following a diet that uses that philosophy as well. I've been avoiding sugar substitutes, added sugar, and high fructose corn syrup for several months, and it has changed the way everything tastes. Carrots are like candy, and most candy is inedible. Mmmm... now I want carrots.