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The Rant: A Monday Morning View - About The Potato
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.
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.
- Ore-Ida classic cut
- Ore-Ida Golden Crinkles
- Ore-Ida Extra Crispy
- Ore-Ida Shoestrings
- Ore-Ida Steak Fries
- Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Easy Golden Fries
- Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Easy Crinkle Cut
- Ore-Ida Premium Zesties
- Ore-Ida Premium Zesties Twirls
- Ore-Ida Premium Country Style Steak Fries
- Ore-Ida Premium Country Style Fries
- Ore-Ida Premium Texas Style Crispers
- 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.
- The Rant: A Monday Morning View - Eggs
The Rant: A Monday Morning View continues with a rant on eggs. Eggs? That's right. Eggs. You won't believe where this one is going. I promise it won't take you any longer to read this than it does to boil an egg. Enjoy!
- The Rant: A Monday Morning View - Food Choice and G...
In this installment of The Rant: A Monday Morning View you'll find information to help you make the best food choices for your family. Are you in denial about the food you consume? Let's learn a little about GMO's, the genetically modified organisms
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.