Saturday, June 24, 2006

Introducing the new and improved complete spray food post

I was looking through the USA Today site and saw an article about spray-on foods. The writer led with info on new spray-on salad dressings that would help people control how much dressing they get on their salads. I guess that's for people challenged by the basic shake-and-pour method that, until now, has stood the test of time. Will spray-on-foods now be known as the best thing since sliced bread?

I'm a little queasy about all these new fangled ways of food delivery hitting the market. Why can't we just eat food? Real food? I understand some of the science and theory behind bioengineering food to make it possible to grow just about anything just about anywhere, but sometimes I question what it's all going to come to. And now they're talking like we're gonna just be spritzing a few different bottles of food into our mouths and that's dinner.

Imagine what life would be like then. Already families don't eat together as often as they used to. And more and more people are eating in their cars. I can just see it now. A fast-food drive-thru of the future would be similar to today's automatic car washes. Just punch in the code for an appetizer, another for an entree, and maybe a dessert. Hey, why not? It's low-cal! Then wave your debit card, cuz now we don't even have to swipe them anymore. I guess that takes way too much time. You know, cuz you have to fit the card in the swiper slot rather than just pulling it out of your pocket and aiming it at the reader. (Wow, what am I gonna do with all that free time? What exactly can you do in a few hundred nanoseconds, anyway?) So just open the windows and pull into the bay and let Jiffy Food do the rest. Gives new meaning to Applebee's Carside-to-go.

Holiday celebrations would be a little different, too. Some people (like those at the Jones Soda Company) have already jumped on that bandwagon. We don't have to gather 'round the dinner table on Thanksgiving, risking missing the kickoff of the traditional Thanksgiving Day football game. Instead, we can gather 'round the wide screen plasma TV and pass around a six pack of dinner, complete from soup to nuts. You can start with the appetizers. I dare you to kick off your gathering with a splash of smoked salmon pate. (Pretend there’s one of those thingies over the e in pate. You know, so it sounds French. I don’t know how to do that on the computer and, frankly, it’d just be a waste of my time to come to each and every one of you to draw one on your screen. No offense, but it’s just not worth it. Use your imagination!) Follow with the entree (you know the drill with the e thingy) and garnish and end with a little Thanksgiving pie.

The liquid holiday dinner is especially great for the ladies, more and more of whom are becoming avid sports fans. Now, instead of six hours of food preparation, a fifteen minute dinner, and three hours of dishwashing, the gals can just relax with the guys and watch their favorite quarterbacks and tight ends battle it out on the gridiron. As long as they don’t show up in a pink “official” Tom Brady uniform. Not even Tailgating Barbie should wear that stuff.

So, back to the spray-on flavorings. According to the article, there are “more than 150 spray on foods [in] the market” with different purposes. Let’s take them point-by-point, shall we?

Sprays that add flavor. Flavor Spray, a no-calorie spray targeted at dieters who crave flavor

Uh, isn’t that what gum is for?

Sprays that disguise flavor. Can't get the kids to eat their vegetables? …[try the new] candy-flavored sprays … as a way to get kids to eat those veggies.

Great. Just what we need. Cotton candy flavored brussel sprouts. Yeah, that’ll be a big hit. To the bottom lines of the cotton candy sellers of America. Let’s face it. The spray-on is only going to add flavor to the brussel sprouts, not change it. So it’s still going to look like and have the texture of a brussel sprout, but with a hint of pink or blue sugar. And since it’s low cal it won’t be real sugar. It will be the artificial kind. Yeah, that’d be a move in the right direction, healthwise.

So the kids will come to associate the idea of cotton candy with the disgusting vegetables they were forced to eat (or drink!) at Sunday dinner. What kid is gonna want to rip a big, fluffy hunk of cotton candy off a paper cone, knowing it’s now going to taste like a brussel sprout? That’s unfair to the kiddies. What’s a visit to the carny without cotton candy? There oughta be a law. Just like there oughta be a law against Easter baskets without Peeps.

Sprays going organic. This summer, ConAgra's Pam cooking spray will introduce two organic varieties that will sell for 50 cents more than conventional Pam.

Well, of course it’s going to cost more. Healthy food always does. You can buy a twelve pack of Twinkies for less than the cost of a bunch of asparagus. And I’m not sure how eager the American public is for organic oil. I mean, technically, oil is organic, but I just can’t imagine spraying organic WD-40 on my cake pans. “Excuse me, waiter? Could you ask the chef to use the summer weight oil on my vegetables? I really don’t like to use anything heavier than a 10W-20 oil before Labor Day.” And I hear there’ll be a new offering from Ocean Spray. It literally is “ocean spray.” This will not only benefit the spray-on food industry, as well as dieters who can’t grasp the concept of sprinkling the salt on their spray-butter-covered corn-on-the-cob, but it will boost the Discovery Channel’s revenues as well. Now they can add the sea-spray-salt season to their Deadliest Catch series. It won’t be nearly as exciting as opilio crab season on the Bering Sea during an Arctic freeze, but watching fishermen trolling for sea water could be more exciting than you think. The up-to-700-hundred-pound-pots they use to catch their quarry are made of steel and netting. The salt water would mostly sluice right through the netting, resulting in low catch rates, which could cause intense drama on the high seas. I see high Nielsen ratings for this one.

Sprays for pets. Then, there's Gourmet Spray. It targets pet owners whose pets have lost interest in kibble. The $4.99 spray — in pork, beef and seafood — makes dry pet food smell "good enough to eat

Oh, Lordy. Wait ‘til PETA gets a hold of this. They’re gonna have a field day. Spray-on flavoring for pets?

Oh, wait. I get it now. It’s spray-on flavoring for pet food, not for pets! Ha! Haha! My bad. Nevermind.

Anyway, back to spray foods and football…at least now the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger will be able to drink the same foods his teammates will be eating at training camp. For the NFL-challenged among you, Big Ben holds the distinction of being the youngest NFL quarterback ever to lead his team to victory in the Super Bowl, having won Super Bowl XL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben recently had a run-in on his motorcycle with a little old lady who drove her car through a left hand turn as Roethlisberger rode through the intersection. Been there, had that done to me. It’s not pretty. Of course, if Ben had used half the sense he was born with, he would have worn a full-face helmet and walked away from his motorcycle accident with a few cuts and contusions instead of a new bionic face. Seriously. If you wear a helmet and facemask on the football field to protect your noggin, what makes you think you can go speeding along on a motorcycle with no head/face protection and walk away unscathed? I speak from experience. Wear a helmet. Doofus.