Read the label: It’s the cheesiest

There’s nothing like the taste of cheese. And this, I assure you, is nothing like the taste of cheese.

I’m not sure what makes me more ill, that there’s a half-dozen or more products, all representing the various states of matter, all named “fat free topping,” or that one of those states could be less than 100% grated.

I mean, just what is this product, exactly? It’s next to the grated “cheese,” and it’s similarly packaged, so you’re left to infer it’s of similar purpose. But, as you can see, the only claims it makes are that it’s “fat free” and it’s “grated,” one hundred percent. (sorry, we’ve been reading more Horton.)

Oh, and it’s a “topping.” Not to be confused with fat free whipped topping, however (or the non-dairy whipped topping, or the fat free non-dairy whipped topping – though it should make you wonder what “non-dairy” item(s) laden with fat could be whipped into a topping, what fat free versions of them there are, why they still sell both and why you would choose to top anything you ate with them). They’re fat free, so they must be good for you.

Really, how much of this synthetic oil emulsion dandruff do you expect to shower over your Caesar salad (or gooey eggplant parmigiana) that you have to worry about it being fat free? And for the whipped cream pretenders, just what are we supposed to put it on that being fat free would make any difference?

Do you know what Cool Whip® is? Lard. That’s right, processed animal fat, like they use to make soap – with sugar in it. Did you know they made a “light” Cool Whip? How, exactly, do you make a low-fat fat? (how much fat in a low-fat fat, if a pole cat spat that fat?) Think about that the next time you’re watching some housefrau scoop it up with baby carrots.

And I can hear all the milk-challenged people now, crying about how glandular discharge from a cow’s teat could kill them. Shouldn’t you people get over your cheese envy already? If you really have problems that Gas-X® won’t help, you’re probably not prone to eating Caesar salad, you’re not going near a parmigiana, and you sure as shit aren’t eating ice cream.

Then there’s the vegans. Most of the self-compelled herbivores I know eat very healthily – most would not put crap like this into their bodies (well, they wouldn’t eat it). But there’s the other ones – lifetime PETA members with “meat is murder” bumper stickers (funny how you don’t see that the other way around; if A=B, B=A, right?) who would like to believe they don’t have canine teeth for a reason. Load your plate with veggies if you will, but don’t (like your mom told you) imagine it’s something else. If your idea of “sausage” is extruded soy gelatin, if your “burgers” are made of bean paste, then think about poor Wilbur all you want, but you’re going to start drooling when you get a whiff of some frying bacon.

I once knew a woman who didn’t eat meat. No, she wasn’t the anemic bag of antlers who tried to tell me humans can’t digest animal proteins (yeah, that happened), she just didn’t like the taste (which I can respect). Her family, wanting to include her in the family cookout, would buy tofu “sausage” and veggie “burgers,” and felt, “it’s OK, they taste just like meat” was a selling point. Don’t want it? Don’t eat it. If Pavlov could get to you with the scent of barbecue sauce, then eat the freakin’ thing already – stop pretending you’re somehow “above” that. (don’t let the pictures fool you, nothing died to make the food in that link; at least, nothing that wasn’t a migrant day-laborer who didn’t have it coming.)

[Full disclosure: I’ve had vegetarian BBQ shredded “pork” and found it better than OK (I’d eat it again), but the tofu “sausage” I tried once (because “it’s got the same spices so it tastes exactly the same…”) made me want to lick the bottom of my shoe to get the taste out of my mouth.]

But back to the pencil eraser debris in a can – they don’t even try to stick the word “cheese” on it, the way my son’s macaroni and hydrologized cottonseed and/or palm kernel oil with natural and artificial flavorings does. It’s not even a “cheese food product.” (and just what is cheese if not food?) No one can convince me there’s a justifiable reason to manufacture, let alone give shelf space to such non-comestibles. They continue to sell this crap because people continue to buy it. It just proves that marketing aphorism, it doesn’t matter what’s in the can as long as the pictures on the outside are pretty.

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Published in: on October 14, 2008 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

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