Friday, March 26, 2010

Alienation of popcorn and the middle class.

I'm going to share something with you that I learned on my last trip. It blows my mind on several levels, both because of the sheer simplicity, as well as the bigger metaphysical aspects. And as I go dropping philosophical terms, let me first warn you that today's topic is: microwave popcorn.

I admit, I am a snob about food. I hadn't even heard of boxed macaroni and cheese until college, and though I fully admit that it is the one thing I want after enduring a migraine, it still tastes nothing like macaroni and cheese. Maybe it's like comparing soy milk to milk. As long as you don't expect it to actually taste exactly like milk, then soy milk is a delicious beverage. Same with veggie burgers. In that sense, boxed macaroni and cheese is yummy. But it's got nothing on my dad's macaroni.

Microwave popcorn, however, is different. I don't like it. Some processed foods do an okay job of hiding their chemical flavors, but microwave popcorn just tastes bad. I make my popcorn on the stovetop, often ruining a saucepan here and there when I burn it, but the taste difference is worth a new pan every so often.

Last week, while sitting around the kitchen with a bunch of relatives and a bottle of 18-year-Laphroaig (that's another blog all together), I learned about homemade microwave popcorn. That's right. Just throw a few kernels in a brown paper bag and microwave it. Guess what happens? It POPS!!!

My mind is totally blown because 1) it's delicious and tastes like stove-top popcorn. and 2) I'd never thought of it before, which means despite my honest attempt to be conscious of the food I eat, I'm still far more alienated from my foods than I want to be.

How in the world has the microwave popcorn industry fooled us all into thinking they invented some sort of genius invention? And how rich is the guy who patented that? Probably richer than the Snuggie™ folks.

1 comment:

  1. Public service announcement: I want to add that all microwave popcorn that I have ever seen contains TBHQ a (toxic) additive/perservative that is all-out banned in Europe. Maybe you are a super taster who can actually taste the poison.