Thursday, February 21, 2013

Foodie Business

Check out a pretty good article over at the New York Times: "The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food."

It's nothing we haven't heard before---multinationals are making us fat and marketing unhealthy food to children---but of course it is all true, and like I said it's a good article. Here's an interesting excerpt regarding the creation of the classic kid's meal Lunchables:

Kraft’s early Lunchables campaign targeted mothers. They might be too distracted by work to make a lunch, but they loved their kids enough to offer them this prepackaged gift. But as the focus swung toward kids, Saturday-morning cartoons started carrying an ad that offered a different message: “All day, you gotta do what they say,” the ads said. “But lunchtime is all yours.”

I'm sorry: if parents---mothers and fathers---are "too distracted by work" to prepare healthy lunches for their children, then they're doing the whole parenting thing very poorly. God strike me down the day I'm too stretched to make sure my kids are well- and healthily-fed. But that marketing campaign was bullshit in another way. Lunchtime was not, nor was it ever, "all mine" when I was a little boy. No kid's lunchtime is his own. You still have to sit where the damn teacher tells you, and stand when the damn bell rings, and say the damn pledge of allegiance to the flag, or whatever it is they do.

For the brief couple of years that I was out of homeschool and in "real school," my mom would pack me a delicious lunch every day. I remember staring with jealousy at the other kids' Lunchables and Go-Gurts and snack packs and Hostess cupcakes, but I tell you, man---I lucked out. That supermarket stuff was gross.

One time, though, I opened up my lunch box, and on top of the salami sandwich and the baby carrots and the chocolate chip cookie, there was---a dog biscuit! She had packed a dog biscuit in with my lunch. She was trying to send a message, and I read it loud and clear: I am a dog.


  1. Didn't you get a note in one of your lunches, about how you had done some task "just well enough," so your lunch was equally underwhelming?

    1. Oh, yeah...yeah, I remember that. "You cleaned the kitchen. It is better than nothing, I suppose. This lunch, too, is better than nothing." Draconian woman!

  2. You are totally making this up. I remember no such notes. They were always sweet little motherly limericks or something. I am quite sure of this.