Thursday, November 12, 2009

Food In Bulk

I love food, but every once in a while I will see food in such large quantities that it messes with my mind. I am all for buying stuff in bulk and larger sizes since it often means you get a better deal, but sometimes if the quantity is too great, it can ruin the happy association I have with a particular food.

If someone were to give me a cold glass of milk with some cookies I would be happy, but when I am driving on the freeway and see a semi tanker truck hauling milk it loses some of the special feelings I once had for it. Seeing a 50 gallon drum of mayonnaise would make me sick. I had some delicious yogurt for lunch yesterday, but then I imagined what the facility that produced it must look like and it wasn't so great. I could envision a two ton vat of yogurt with machinery that would squirt out a predetermined amount into my individual sized serving cup as it ran along a conveyor belt at high speed.

I once briefly worked for a large food manufacturer. Upon entering the production floor you had to wear ear protection because it was so loud from all the machinery. There were gigantic containers hooked up to hydraulic equipment, fork lifts carrying tons of food (literally), conveyor belts, and an army of workers in white jumpsuits and hairnets that were managed by a few people walking around in lab coats and clipboards. It was more of an amazing industrial accomplishment than a fine culinary experience. When you think of a kitchen, the picture below is not what most people imagine, but it's very likely that the frozen dinner you threw in the oven last night was produced in a place similar to this.
I am grateful that companies can produce so much food and I understand the economics behind mass production but it just felt so impersonal. I understand that it is necessary to have cargo ships, semi trucks, and other huge containers of mass produced food, but the food just loses something when you think about it that way.
So how am I going to deal with this problem? I'm going to pretend that all the food I eat was hand made by a sweet little grandma from scratch. She pours her heart and soul into preparing small individual portions just for me. It may not be true, but it will be much more appetizing that way.


Kristina P. said...

I never thought of this! I guess ignorance is bliss.

Eric said...

I think that chocolate is the only food related substance that is not subject to the economic law of diminishing marginal returns.

Was Willie Wonka wrong? Bring on the supertanker...

peewee said...

what do you mean "pretend" it was made by a sweet grandma? Who the hell do you think Betty crocker, Marie Calendar, Mama Celeste, Mrs. Butterworth, and Aunt jemima ARE anyway? Made up characters??


Raine said...

That sounds nice! I think I will try pretending as well!

Rosee Rouge said...

Well thanks fo the diet tip Chaka! Now how can I apply that concept to booze?