ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Rant: A Monday Morning View - About The Potato

Updated on February 09, 2013
Frozen Ore-Ida Potatoes
Frozen Ore-Ida Potatoes | Source

One potato, two potato, three potato four. Don't stop there keep going because today I am going to rant about the potato, the potato, and more potatoes.

I need to know - does the shape of a potato change its taste? Does calling it a crinkle or a twirl make in more than a potato? Didn't think so. . So why do we, the lowly consumer need so many different choices in frozen potatoes? No, wait, that’s the wrong question. I meant to ask – why are we buying frozen potatoes in the first place?

Okay, so if I wasn’t buying them, I wouldn’t know how many choices there are, would I? That’s right. I am guilty of just wanting a French Fry once in a while and I don’t like using a ton of hot oil to get them. So, yes, every few months I feed my French Fry fetish with a bag of Ore-Ida frozen fries. Every time I do though, I end up mad at myself. I spend almost $4.00 for a bag of fries that feeds four people. That same $4.00 would buy a sack of whole potatoes and I can make enough potatoes to feed at least twenty people, depending on how I fix them. So why do I put myself through the agony?

A sack of whole potatoes lets me be creative and, flexible. They store well and I can decide how to cook them, depending on my schedule and whatever other ingredients are on hand. On a busy night, I might fix baked potatoes while something else is cooking. If I have onions that need to be used, we might have some good old fried taters and onions. On a weekend, we might have potato salad or those yummy, lumpy, homemade smashed potatoes. If I feel really indulgent, the cheesy goodness of scalloped potatoes may grace the table. And of course there’s the traditional roast beef with carrots and potatoes that we all love. It’s comfort food at its best.

A simple French Fry
A simple French Fry | Source

Are we weak or illogical? Can we not see what is happening?

Now that I’ve stimulated my appetite, lets get back to the frozen Ore-Idas. For for the same $4.00, they might feed four people. Can anyone spell L-O-G-I-C?

Obviously I can’t because I still want them every now and then.

The price isn’t even what bugs me though. It’s the number of choices. When I shopped last week, I just wanted a bag of Ore-Ida steak fries. That’s all – just one bag of steak fries. It should have been simple, but it wasn’t. The Ore-Ida section in the store was a maze of potatoes. It took me almost ten minutes to find a bag of steak fries. Ten minutes! Okay, so I have macular degeneration and I don’t see so well but every bag of Ore-Idas looks exactly like the next, to me anyway. Here’s what I found in one section of the frozen potato case.

  1. Ore-Ida classic cut
  2. Ore-Ida Golden Crinkles
  3. Ore-Ida Extra Crispy
  4. Ore-Ida Shoestrings
  5. Ore-Ida Steak Fries
  6. Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Easy Golden Fries
  7. Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Easy Crinkle Cut
  8. Ore-Ida Premium Zesties
  9. Ore-Ida Premium Zesties Twirls
  10. Ore-Ida Premium Country Style Steak Fries
  11. Ore-Ida Premium Country Style Fries
  12. Ore-Ida Premium Texas Style Crispers
  13. Ore-Ida Premium Crispers

That’s just the plain old Irish potato. I won’t even get into sweet potatoes, hash browns, tater-tots, and grillers, all potatotes and all packaged by Ore-Ida too.

Too many choices!

Can someone tell me why we need to wade through thirteen different shapes of potatoes? Does it really matter to anyone if the potato has crinkles or twirls? Does a shoestring taste any better than a country style steak fry? I just don’t get it.

Well, actually I do get it. Consumers are idiots. We buy into the new style packaging or the latest cut because we always want what we don’t have. My God, what would we do if we could not hold a conversation about Ore-Ida Zesties? Are we really that hard to please?

.The food industry has us pegged. They can package the same old tired product in a new package and we buy it like it’s not going to be here tomorrow.

Cake mix repackaged for consumer interest
Cake mix repackaged for consumer interest | Source

It's More Than a Potato

Maybe you don’t like potatoes. So, I’ll give you another example. For those of you with a sweet tooth, I’ll talk about packaging and cake mix. The latest gimmick for us lazy consumers is an add water and shake cake mix. Really? Are we seriously this pathetic? Look at the photo and ell me which product is selling better? Or… did the staff set the display this way to make us think the new packaging is selling like hotcakes?

I think you’re getting my point now. Marketing is big business and stores are not above leaving a shelf half empty to make you feel like you’re missing something by buying the lesser expensive, old style product. I’m speculating here but I would almost bet that old style box of cake mix tastes better than that “add water and shake” mix. But you know, there’s nothing that tastes better than a cake made from scratch and… love.

Love, there’s that word again. We love our families and we want the best for them. Don’t we? Of course we do. So why are we allowing ourselves to be played like fiddles by the retail giants?

When I think of food, I think love. Not love for the food but the love of preparing food for those I love. I think about the love of the land that a farmer feels when he works he soil year after year and prays for a good crop. I think about those potatoes again. There’s no love in that bag of frozen potatoes. By the time those potatoes make it to the shelf there’s little left but some artificial flavor and a lot of preservatives.

Love is holding a potato that was dug by hand. Love is standing at the kitchen counter peeling a potato and dreaming of a child’s graduation or wedding. Love is cooking in the pot handed down from your mother and feeling the groove worn in the handle. Love is caring enough to say no to the games played by retail giants and feeding our families good, healthy food at a fraction of the cost of pretty packages and chemical additives.

As much as I love them, I will control my French Fry fetish. It's only a potato; a potato! I will not fall prey to their campaigns. Will you?

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • flacoinohio profile image

    flacoinohio 4 years ago from Ohio

    So funny and yet so true!

  • Millionaire Tips profile image

    Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

    LOL - we buy the frozen potatoes too - I like the shredded ones for hash browns. I like the cubed kind for hash brown casserole. I like them because I don't have to go through the trouble of cutting them into such tiny shapes, and because they last longer in the freezer and are convenient for my daughter to use. If it makes you feel better, I do make my own cakes from scratch. I haven't seen the shake and bake cake mixes though.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    I hate anything prepared so I am with you. I like food in its natural state, except I don't bake bread. Life is full of too many choices...too many cars, TV states, too many food selections, too many styles of clothes, etc...Where is the simple life? Excellent rant today and I am voting up +++ and sharing on facebook and twitter.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi flacoinohio. It was a silly rant but I just couldn't hold back anymore. lol

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Millionaire! How ridiculous was it to rant about this? lol I just couldn't help it. Maybe if I could see better or if people wouldn't mix all the different cuts up on the shelf it wouldn't have gotten so frustrated. Ten minutes to find a bag of the steak fries!!! And they were hidden behind a bag of crinkle cuts all along. As for you, well, it's your money. :-) I'm only teasing. Thank God you still make your own cakes though.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Carol! This was a ridiculous rant and I know it. But, I just don't know where it all stops. Thirteen kinds of French Fries!!! I still can hardly believe it. Thanks for making me feel less like a fool!

  • Michele Travis profile image

    Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

    This is a good hub. They do make a lot of different shapes of potatoes. I have no idea why. That is strange. But now I have the song " Potato, Patato " stuck in my head . Sorry. Still a very good hub.

    Voted up!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Michele. Life must be pretty good when the only thing I could think of to rant about today was how many shapes and textures fried potatoes come in, huh? lol Sorry about the song though. :-) Thanks for reading this rather vacant rant.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    You summed it up perfectly when you said consumers are idiots. Truer words were never written.

    I love your Monday rants; gets me in the mood for my own hubs later in the week. Well done! Did you know that in Brazil there are 2300 varieties of potatoes? I just learned that reading another hub. That's one hell of a lot of fries! :)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Bill, 2300 varieties? Wow, that would make French Fries interesting for a long time. Please, don't let Ore-Ida hear that.

    Wasn't this rant pathetic? They give me the most insane subjects to get fretted about. :-)

  • Alecia Murphy profile image

    Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

    Consumers are idiots- I just saw a story last week saying that people will more likely purchase holiday items just because of the packaging. I try not to dumb myself down to fall for the tricks of the advertising elite but sometimes it's hard.

    However, with potatoes I have become more resistant to the ploys of Ore Ida and company. Once you buy them and cook them, they taste less than desirable. So what I do when I'm in the mood is make my own or just go get some from a Fast Food place- even though the latter shouldn't be happening.

    You are a master of rants and this is definitely a great hub!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Alecia, I think y ou are a bit too kind. This rant has little value but it was frustrating and I don't think we should fall for all the packaging frenzy. When I counted the different cuts of potatoes I was stunned. Thanks for the support though. :-)

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    I was afraid to read this, I thought you were going to go off on potatoes. Just yesterday someone published a hub about how to make french fries. I told him about a Chinese market that is selling partially cooked fries that only cost a little more than fresh potatoes/ and they are good!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    lol MH, I'm glad you read it in spite of your fear. The Chinese market fries sound good.

  • profile image

    AudraLeigh 4 years ago

    This is a fantaic and extremely well written rant!!! I see your pain and have gone through it so many times! I worked in a grocery store for 21 years!! It is amazing how many choices we have!!! I have bought certain brands out of convenience. I would rather put my love into making good home cooked anything. However, I am lazy. But, they do have single whole potatoes in microwaveable wrapping that allows you to cook it for 8 minutes or so. Then I will cut it up into fries or twice bakes in the oven. It is like 89 cents. I love that!

  • DeborahNeyens profile image

    Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

    Great hub! I love the potato. I grow potatoes in my garden. I know what you mean about holding a potato dug by hand. I actually broke down recently and bought a bag of Ore Ida tater tots because I was craving my grandmother's old tater tot casserole recipe. I even was going to write a hub about nostalgic foods. But, I have to say, the tater tots weren't as I remembered them. In fact, they were downright gross. I ended up picking most of them off the casserole and feeding them to the dog. Poor dog. I sure hope your rants encourage more people to turn away from processed foods and to real, whole foods.

  • profile image

    SilverGenes 4 years ago

    So true! I laughed as I read it, though. When I got to the section on cake mix I had to share it with my daughter. She works in retail and said the same thing happens with pancake mix! People buy the container and a small amount of mix for $4.29 when they could buy a full box of pancake mix for $1.99 and pour it in a pitcher or used juice jug. Even when she pointed this out, people bought the expensive 'jug' anyway!

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

    Great rant! I'm reading your Monday morning rant on Tuesday but its still true! Convenience has taken the place of common sense. I have to admit I like the frozen fries cause I can pop em in the oven and still have "French Fries"....but shake and bake cake mix?

    Its all about t he money Linda...if they don't get us one way they will another!

    Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

  • Ronna Pennington profile image

    Ronna Pennington 4 years ago from Arkansas

    Hahahaha! I love how the brand name potatoes are generally .28 to 1.00 higher than the generic brand. I admit that I use frozen potatoes for everything b/c my little family of 3 doesn't eat potatoes often. When I buy a bag, they end up getting icky and mushy and wasted. So, I break up frozen fries to make potato soup, hashbrowns, and I've even mashed a few to make instant potatoes seem a little lumpy like real/homemade mashed potatoes (but don't tell my picky eaters).

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Audra. I love your comment about the 89 cent potato. It's a great option for single people. I still buy a bag of potatoes or buy several from the farmer's market. It saves money and I always have them on hand for other dishes. Thanks for reading my little silly rant.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Deborah, isn't it amazing what we can feed our dogs and they still love us? lol Kudos to you for growing your own potatoes. I used to have a big garden but I'm in an apartment now and I miss it so much. I do try to support local farmers though and so I shop at the farmers market a lot. There is no comparing the taaste of local produce to store bought. I appreciate your visit so much.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi SilverGenes. The cake mix stopped me in the aisle and I laughed out loud. The stock clerk looked at me like I had three heads. When I pulled the camera out he just shook his head and walked off. I'm glad you enjoyed this rather ridiculous rant.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Mary! You are right on the money. Get it, "the money"? Since I was laid off, I am even more cost conscious than ever and it really makes no sense to me that we keep feeding the giants when the alternative tastes so much beter and cost a lot less. Maybe I'm just getting old and cynical. lol Thanks for reading though.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Roma, I understand. Everything is not for everyone. I appreciate your reading my rant. I know it was a silly one but when I couldn't find regular old fries among so many choices, I had to rant about it. Then, there was the cake mix and that did me in. lol

  • mpropp profile image

    Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

    I enjoyed your Monday morning rant, even reading it on a Tuesday. I just happen to be a HUGE fan of the potato, though. There are so many ways to fix them that if I had to pick a single food to survive on for the rest of my life--it would be the potato. Of course, they would have to allow me to use spices, oils and toppings (including cheese). Personally, I don't care what shape my french fry is, as long as it fits in my greedy open mouth!

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

    The bagged frozen potatoes just do not work for me. However if it works for you and your family, then that is all that matters. I enjoyed reading your rant..we could write one on so many topics as they have too many varieties of the same food. The food industry does indeed have us pegged, like you say.

    Sending Angels your way. :) ps

  • watergeek profile image

    watergeek 4 years ago

    You're right, this has gone beyond crazy. When I came back from the Peace Corps in 1986 (my 2nd tour), the first thing I noticed was the myriad brands on the shelves all selling the same thing. Now each brand is selling myriad versions of the same thing. And they all taste like cardboard.

    Do you realize how long it takes to cook a potato? 5 min. to wash and cut, 10 min. to cook, 5 min. to mash. Twenty minutes altogether to make great mashed potatoes. How long does it take to make the trashy ones? Now add shopping time. (lol) Voted up.

  • Ronna Pennington profile image

    Ronna Pennington 4 years ago from Arkansas

    Ikr? Those cake mixes are crazy. But I actually know a woman who spent too much time on the cake mix aisle looking for CUPCAKE mix. Hahahaha! I noticed that one of the shake-pour mixes in our local store specifically mentioned : for cakes and cupcakes. Hahahahaha

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    mpropp, lol, I love it, your greedy little mouth. I agree. I love potatoes too and would eat them no matter the shape. I just don't need to hunt through thirteen shapes to enjoy them. lol Thanks for the great comment.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Patricia. You are absolutely right about too many choices. The potatoe was the antagonist in my grocery trip this week so it got the honor of my silly rant. Thanks for reading!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    lol watergeek, you add a whole new dimension to my rant and I agree with every word! Thanks so much!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Ronna. What a funny story. Maybe I have given the average consumer too much credit for having common sense. lol Thanks for reading this ridiculous rant.

  • Sally's Trove profile image

    Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

    I read your hub a few days ago and needed to digest it over a bit of time. It got me thinking about one of our supermarket chain's slogans--"Ingredients for Life."

    Yup, ingredients for life. Hundreds of packaged faux foods on shelves, like those Ore -das...chips, breakfast bars, cereals, salad dressings, the list goes on, and on the list, if you read the ingredient labels, are ingredients for death.

    Thanks for a great read. Glad you ranted for me.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Sally, you have made my day. What a slogan that market has chosen for itself, huh? You are so right about food for death. I am a long way from perfect but I am moving towards more and more whole foods and it is the best thing I've done for myself. Not only do I feel healthier but it just tastes better. Last night I steamed some organic carrots and they were almost like dessert. They were so tender and sweet. Why on earth would anyone eat them from a can?

    I think people have to try whole foods and appreciate the flavor instead of having someone browbeat them about it. When you compare prices and value and taste, it's a logical choice, I think. I have scanned your prfile and am dying to get there for an afternoon and peruse your wonderful hubs. They make me hugry just looking at the photos. The red beans and rice is calling my name, seriously.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, if you use coconut oil (which has the aerated consistency of Crisco) you can slice and fry your own french fries without adding ugly fats to your diet. Use a cast iron skillet and add enuf coconut oil to fill 1/4 of the pan (it liquidates more than you'd think, so go slow). Fry the taters, with skin on. Add some sea salt to the oil while frying. Brown as dark or light as you prefer your fries.

    When in doubt and you are jonesing for fries, drive up to the nearest heart attack in a sack and have at it!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, what a great suggestion. I've never used coconut oil for frying. I'm going to give this a try with the new sack of potatoes I bought. Heart attack in a box - for fries? Never. lol

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    With regards to the shake and pour cake mix I agree that it is a sad reflection of our instant gratification needs today. The pleasure for me in baking a cake IS the process.

    Also - the potato choices reminded me of pasta choices - pasta is pasta. I don't care what shape you press it into, it is still pasta!!!!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shiningirisheyes - good morning to you! You are so right. One could probably write a book on the excessive choices we have to make at the grocery store. This list is endless and sadly, we keep feeding the giant. If we would just stop purchasing some of this stuff, and buy only the basics, would it make a difference? Who knows. I just think we have created madness; a world in which we over think too much and stress if we have to wait two minutes for anything. It's crazy, isn't it? Thank you for sharing my feelings. Keep baking those cakes!

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    I worked in the food section at Target for several years, and I always found the selection outrageous! I can tell you, it can be fun to stock sections like that. So many things look similar that you have to be very careful not to stock it in the wrong place.

    I love potatoes. You're right, there are so many things to do with them. I actually made steak fries the other day, and they were good, but they taste different than the Ore-Ida brand fries. They're good as a treat, but I would hate to have to feed a family with the frozen potatoes. So expensive! Nowadays convenience foods are a common part of family's diets.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Kathryn. I had a bit of fun with this rant. That's really what my rants are all about anyway. I love potatoes too but I buy them by the bag fresh and make my own baked fries. They serve the purpose and are healthier too. And...cost less. :-) Thanks for the visit.

Click to Rate This Article