Friday, December 19, 2008

Packaging and Misdirection

Today is my ex-husband's birthday ~ Happy Birthday you old(er than me) coot, I know you're reading this... Hope your day is happy.

His birthday, for many of my years now, has signaled the last bell being rung on the pre-Christmas frenzy. December 19th... only 6 days till Christmas... and only 5 SHOPPING DAYS till Christmas... Sorry to cuss at you like that, but it's the truth.

It also makes me think of when I was an out-in-the-world-woman and had holiday parties to go to and how I'd always groan in January when I finally braved the scale to find I'd gained ten pounds in a month, and what seemed like several inches around the middle.

Along these lines, I was talking to my sister the other night. I was preparing dinner and she was getting ready to go out to eat and was calculating her points on the WW website. It was then that we started talking about 'Serving Size' as indicated by food packaging.

Serving sizes, on the most part, are the food industry's version of drug company deceit. Cause this is where they rook ya. The nutritional information facts are listed in such small print, that by the time you give a damn about what the numbers are, you can't see to read them. They are counting on this. Big time.

They're also counting on our busy lives for two reasons. First, because most of us wouldn't buy the shit we have to eat if we actually had time to make something decent. Second, running around like a chicken-with-it's-head-cut-off doesn't give a person time to read anything but the calories... OK and maybe the fat content.

We give a quick glance at the calories and or fat grams, rationalize that we'll just cut back and eat less at the next meal and pop it in our mouth. Here's the rub though ~ those are the calories for ONE SERVING. That's important people, because therein lies the root of the lie. (you need to imagine that last sentence being delivered by a southern-soapbox-lawyer ~ funnier that way, isn't it?)

With our super-sized-food world being what it is today, I doubt highly that any one of us eats only One Serving of anything unless on a disease-imposed-doctor-diet. And even then... it's iffy. Let me bring into evidence a few items here...

Let's start with the goodies... The two pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that you just bought (and scarfed down with alarming quickness ~ my God man! It's a wonder you didn't eat your hands off!), you know the small package with only two, cause the king-sized pack has three, and hey, in the actual aisle instead of just here in the checkout, they have whole bags of individually wrapped cups just waiting to be bought, brought home and devoured by you, mindlessly while you watch the movie that showed up from Netflix in your mailbox today. They've got you by the chocolate-encased-peanut-butter cajones my friend. The calories on that little two pack that you thought you were being 'good' by buying...

Justify a whole lot more, friendo... those are the specs on ONE peanut-butter cup. ONE. Total bullshit, right? I mean really, who is going to eat one, and then gingerly wrap up the second one and save it for another day? No one larger than a mouse, that's who.

Here's another one for ya. As I mentioned earlier, I was making dinner when this conversation broke out. I was making Hamburger Helper, OK? Now, normally, I make two packages at once. Hubby and I both eat it the first night, and then he gets the leftovers the next night for dinner. That's two packages. Y'all got that part, right. Do you know how many 'servings' they claim are in one box... FIVE. Insidious lies.

With that in mind, I looked at the label on my box of so-sue-me-I'm-not-Kraft macaroni & cheese. One box... one box only fills one of my bowls (and not the mixing ones!) with a little mound over. Let me put it this way, if my 10 year old daughter and my 2 year old son had to share one box of mac'n'cheese, they're gonna leave the table hungry. Guess how many servings that little cardboard box of lies is proclaiming to contain?... THREE.

So, people, listen to me. When you're out at the Christmas parties with their sugar cookies and eggnog, don't worry about the calories. You'll most likely do less damage with that stuff than you will with Christmas dinner and it's ham and turkey, and stuffing, and mashed potatoes, and gravy and goodness only knows what else...

But on January 2nd, I think that we as a people should rise up in protest against the food companies. A two pack of Reece's should be one serving. A box of mac'n'cheese should be one serving. A box of Hamburger Helper should be two servings. These are the portions that the American people as a populace are used to. We should force them to put realistic serving sizes on the packages so we can have our heart failure over the calories and fat content without having to do the damned math! That just really adds insult to injury.

If they refuse to change the serving size, then they should have to buy us dish sets that hold only their "one serving" because everything they sell out there is designed for the current super-sized-minded consumer.

Aren't you outraged at these lies? Aren't you furious at being deceived and wondering why you have trouble loosing weight?

...almost makes you feel better about those 5 shopping days, huh?

That is also known as the art of misdirection ~ practiced shamelessly on the public by advertising executives and politicians for years... btw. Registered & Protected


The Retired One said...

I absolutely, wholeheartedly hear you, Sister!!!

I have decided that in order for the portion sizes to be correct,I need to go into the attic and dig out my daughter's old tea set and play actually works.

And, since I have about 13 shot glasses in my cupboard,(I don't know HOW they got there *wink*) we might as well use those as a "cup" measurement....

Maybe those deceiving serving sizes listed on the boxes is the reason I have resorted to licking my plate after I eat? (Still ravenous).

I read somewhere that the best way to control portion size is to buy those paper plates with the built-in dividers in them and fill the largest section with veggies, the 2nd largest with protein and the smallest portion with carbs.
So, like...french fries are a veggie,right?

I even ordered a "losing weight" hypnosis tape (no lie!) last month...I don't think it worked because the whole time I was listening to the tape, I argued outloud with the man trying to hypnotize me on the tape--hmmm, I think one of the debates I had was exactly about "portion size".....
Perhaps I better blog on it on my site (ha!!)

Get out those shot glasses and measure you up a "serving" of whiskey....hey, I think that's about the right amount!!

Aria said...

Damn, I knew I had something going around in my head that I couldn't remember while writing... it was the tea set usage for portions! So thank you for bringing that up!