Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Convenience foods?

I am not a big fan of premade food. It's not that I'm some kind of health crazed nutter. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I'm not a health nut at all. Some people treat their body like a temple, while I often treat mine like a landfill. While this may have you thinking that I will eat anything, I was actually furnished with tastebuds upon birth and they limit what I chooses to consumer. I do work with several people who don't seem to have gotten their tastebuds though and seem to refuse to eat anything that they have themselves prepared. Whether this is a commentary on their culinary wizardry, or just pure laziness I don't really know. Although if they are capable of cooking in a manner that yields food that is less edible than your average microwavable pasta I think that they have a bright future in preparation of airline food.

What I have learned through the rantings and raving of my co-workers is that the directions on the preparation of these foods is woefully inadequate. A typical label reads as such;
    1. Remove outer wrapping and place item on a microwavable plate or tray
    2. Slightly peel back plastic lid and heat on medium for 3:00.
    3. Stir contents and replace plastic covering and stand for 2 minutes (I guess this is to make you hungrier).
    4. Remove plastic covering and enjoy.

It is my distinct belief that it is not due to cruelty or general thoughtlessness that these directions result in a cold and underdone product, but rather an oversight. The labels are only so large so they have to condense the steps to an approximation of the actual process. Before translated by the labeling elves that handle this task, the actual directs read like this:
    1. Attempt to remove hardened plastic outer wrapping.
    2. After chipping teeth, trying to gnaw through packaging, seek out sharp knife or scissors to actually remove outer wrapping and place food item in microwave, ignoring the arduous task of finding a microwavable plate or tray.
    3. Attempt to slightly peel back plastic lid and pick up frozen item from floor, laying plastic film back on top of container and heating on medium for 3:00.
    4. Attempt to stir contents and proceed to remove fragments of broken plastic fork that snapped when trying to mover around frozen food while still in brick like state.
    5. Fish plastic film out of trash and replace on tray, placing food back in microwave for an additional 3:00.
    6. Stir contents and replace plastic covering for 2 minutes and let stand.
    7. Look on in horror as second plastic fork that you left in the stirred food is melted by the blacksmith's forge-like heat of the food because you forgot to set the microwave on medium.
    8. Burn mouth on contents because lunch break is almost over and you still need to go outside for a smoke to relieve the stress of having to prepare an "instant meal"

The part that mystifies me is that this is somehoe considered more convenient than simply increasing the amount of dinner you cook so you can bring leftovers. Nevermind the whole generation of waste bit. Oh well, the upside is that if I get my leftovers into the microwave before they begin this entire task, I get to sit back and enjoy the show. Don't you just love dinner theater?

On an unrelated note, a fond farewell should be sent to Happy And Blue 2 as he is bowing out again. We'll miss you buddy, unless you have another relapse.


Anonymous pink said...

What happened to the good old sandwich ?

11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Violet said...

I hate forgetting to cover the food before I microwave it, which results in my lunch being splattered all over the inside of the oven. You can't just scrape it off and put it back on your plate, because by then it's already mixed with the food from the last splattered meal.

3:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Umm... I cannot eat prepared food because it has too much salt. So I cook. What's so hard about it?

5:22:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You let it stand for 2 minutes so it cools down and the flavours blend a bit before you eat it. I think with microwave foods it's mainly to prevent them being sued by morons who ate it right away and burned their face off. Kind of like the warning on coffee cups "This is hot... may cause burning... yes, this means you too bozo". I always read those coffee cup warnings, just to see if they changed their mind about the whole thing.

10:37:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

lol - the companies that make these frozen "foodstuffs" actually get away with charging you more for this type of torture, too!

11:03:00 PM  

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