Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Good ideas at the grocery

I bought the last bag of beans on the supermarket shelf last week -- or rather, the last bag of beans that looked like all the bags of beans I've been buying for 50 years.  I also bought a couple of new bags of beans, featuring zip tops.

What a great idea!  For 50 years my cupboards have been full of half bags of beans, rolled up and secured with rubber bands or bulldog clips.  How much simpler to acknowledge that people don't always use the full bag in one recipe, and provide a closable package.

So far great northern beans seem to be the only variety in the new packaging, but I can hope that it will be phased in to the other kinds one of these days.  Now if we could also get zip tops for rice, flour, sugar and lots of other staples.

And cereal.  I would think I died and went to heaven if I didn't have to wrestle with those cereal bags, difficult to open without tearing, difficult to reclose even if you didn't tear them.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Eat your vegetables bait and switch

At the grocery this week and a new kind of pasta caught my eye -- instead of just tinting your tricolor pasta in different colors, they promise a full serving of vegetables.

But wait -- you have to eat 4 ounces of pasta to get that serving of vegetables.  That's a lot of pasta, as I know well because I weigh my pasta before cooking (I use between 4.5 and 5 ounces for two adults, when that's the only entree).  In fact, the "official" serving is just 2 ounces, as you can tell on the side of the box.

And here's another brand, same concept, same misleading display on the front of the box.

So why the bait and switch?  Why not just say "a half serving of vegetables in each serving of pasta"? That's good right there.

If your intention is to make it easy and appealing for people to eat more vegetables, then making them think they're getting more than they really are seems counterproductive.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Asian gourds make me famous

My last post showed some truly humongous Asian gourds hanging from the patio rafters at my neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant.  A couple of weeks later I was surprised to find almost the identical photo in our local magazine, in the monthly feature that shows a strange place and challenges you to identify where it was taken.

I immediately sent them an email identifying the restaurant.  And it turns out that I was the first with the correct answer.

I wish I could say that I got a free meal out of it, or even a free magazine.  But I did become famous, at least to everybody who read the very teeny type on page 15 of the November issue of Louisville magazine.