Monday, October 1, 2007

Bits and Pieces

A few miscellaneous items:

Oh, good, as long as that's clear
Faithful reader Luann sent me this picture of a gummy-bear package. Where does your snack food originate?

Got that? OK.

Happiness is a Kraft Singles grilled cheese sandwich
Today's New York Times spotlights a new ad campaign for Kraft Singles. The "have a happy sandwich" campaign will feature former foes bonding over the gooey toasted cheese concoction. The creative centerpiece of the campaign is a MySpace contest for video clips that celebrate the grilled cheese sandwich. The goal, of course, is to increase sales of Kraft Singles.

The campaign may succeed as long as a) Nobody figures out that you can make a grilled cheese sandwich more cheaply by using less-expensive block Cheddar and a sharp knife, b) Nobody associates the tagline "happy sandwich" with the slang term "happy finish" (describing the, uh, payoff in certain paid massage services) and c) Nobody uses the MySpace contest to create snarky satires (after the fashion of the 2006 GM "viral ad" program in which participants hijacked the video clips and forum to create anti-SUV videos).

But what about the toy surprise?
The NYT online blog section included this story noting that organic cereals may be lower in certain vitamins than mainstream children's cereal brands. The blog entry opened "Kids who go organic for breakfast may be missing out on their vitamins," and then went on to explain that while cereals such as Frosted Flakes are fortified with a wide variety of key vitamins, some organic or naturally produced cereals are not (but some are). The entry notes, "If your organic cereal is low on vitamins, it doesn’t mean you have to give it up. But it’s probably a good idea to give your child a multivitamin in the morning as well, notes Dr. Susan Roberts, a nutritionist at Tufts University and co-author of Feeding Your Child for Lifelong Health."

Commenters spat out their porridge and attacked the blog for implying that high-sugar cereals are more inherently nutritious than organic varieties. "How ’bout if we just have our kids eat fresh fruits and vegetables?" asked one. "Looks like the major vitamins added to our kids’ breakfast are B and S," said another. Additional comments speculated about safety issues (contaminants in fortifying vitamin sprays, pesticides in conventionally produced grains), and others took delight in noting that the organics market is just as much a market as any other.


sally said...

To the swift individual who came up with the "Made In" statement:
I could have figured that much out myself, though my list of countries of origin may have been longer. Specificity is not a bad thing.

Re: How Organic Cereal Is Bad for You
Why, oh why do we get one-sided news stories about things? Is it really that hard to do research now? Or to think about the other possibilities? To report on only one small piece of a very large picture seems irresponsible to me. It's the very thing I'm trying to teach my freshmen to not do.

Erik the Red said...

Hi, Amy, and thanks for all the Damned Recipes. Here is a classic of American camp cooking called Red Deegan. It's simplicity itself: Take a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup, dilute it little or not at all, grate in a major load of cheddar cheese, and heat. You will not need to serve Kraft Singles grilled cheese sandwiches with this dish!