Sunday, June 22, 2008

Day 94, Yucky

Today it rained heavily all day, it was hard to have much gusto for anything. But strangely, I kept seeing fire trucks racing around everywhere.

For a few weird reasons (getting too deep into a 4 a.m. project and 7 a.m. yoga in the park) I didn't get to eat any breakfast this morning, the first time that's happened in over three months. So it was getting to be 9 a.m. and I knew if I didn't eat something I wouldn't make it through the day.

So, for the first time since the PCP began, I bought something at a convenience store. (I might have bought a bottle of water on my way to the print shop two months ago, I can't remember too well). I chose an egg and potato sandwich...

...and a tuna onigiri.

They were really gross. I've been eating so much Food that I forgot how nasty pre-packaged stuff tastes. I used to eat one of those sandwiches a few times a week, with a "nutrition" bar for desert. Today I could barely get through it. It wasn't that it tasted bad, it just tasted of nothing. Filler. Preservatives. Salt. Designed to be kind of halfway tasty to anyone.

It reminds me of that online experiment a few years ago, where a researcher put thousands of jokes online and asked people to rate the funniest. After months of rating, he supposedly had "The World's Funniest Joke." Here it is in its entirety:

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?". The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

Yep, that's it. The World's Funniest Joke. If you're saying to yourself, that wasn't funny at all, you're right. Because it's not the world's funniest joke. It's just the one joke that everyone in the world could agree that they didn't hate. Its utter mediocrity is what made it the winner.

Well, pre-packaged food is the same thing. People spend months testing these things, trying to find a flavor that nobody really loves but isn't so bad people will spit it out. After you've been cooking all your food yourself, it surprises you that anyone buys the stuff at all. But of course, they do, just like I used to, simply because it's cheap and right there in front of us.

I'll never go back to eating convenience store lunches.


Corry said...

Yeah, I hear you! Just got back from the Mtns. with a couple girlfriends and was forced to pick up the exact same tuna onigiri as part of my lunch. Used to think I was so healthy eating how things have changed. Nothing kinda taste eh?

Patrick said...

Yeah. Did you see a few months ago in China, a steamed pork dumpling vendor was arrested for using flavored cardboard instead of pork. Nobody noticed or anything, it was one of his competitors that turned him in.

There's no way to know what's in your food unless you see it go all the way from point A to point B. You all know I'm really into Michael Pollan's idea of Eat food. Not too much, mostly plants.

Well, I have my own caveat on that.

"Don't eat sh*@ that comes from a factory!"

Anonymous said...

God, I never say things "changed my life" because I usually think that's a lame phrase... but Pollan's "unhappy meals" article has really changed the way I view food.

Once you're out of the bubble it's so much clearer how much prepackaged CRAP we ate/people eat! And the freakin' health claims these sugary cereals and TV dinners make! The list goes on!

And people wonder why their poopy smells horrible and is diarrhea or constipated! LOL

Patrick said...

Hell, I won't be bashful, that article CHANGED MY LIFE!

I'll link to it again here, for the hundreth time.