Have we all gone mad?

Healthy choice general tso chicken steamerBefore every revolution there is a tipping point, a fine line in the sand that heralds the inevitability of a cultural paradigm shift. Fanatics are rebranded as leaders, and past leaders as fools. Today that line was crossed, not tiptoed over, but jumped across with both feet landing solid on the other side, no turning back.

‘General Tso’s Spicy Chicken Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamer’ – The name of today’s lunch provided more of a mouthful than the paltry 300 calorie, sodium loaded, mockery of sustenance contained inside. Now, I’m a woman habituated to a culinary culture that has us all walking around with salt-licks hanging around our necks. And I’ve been desensitized to the inhumanity of chemistry lab ingredient lists. I can overlook the fact that out of the 73 words appearing in this “Healthy Choice” ingredient list, 35 of those words – including all available forms of parentheses ([{}]) – are dedicated exclusively to “cooked seasoned chicken chunks.” Whatever.

As we become further removed from the growing and processing of food, we are also being increasingly separated by physical barriers. More layers to tear through and discard in the form of packaging. This is more than poetic metaphor – this is f*&^ing ridiculous!! The packaging on ‘General Tso’s Spicy Chicken Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamer’ has crossed over into the kind of cultural exaggeration on par with Marie Antoinette’s sky high wigs and WWE wrestling. Has the whole world gone mad! One use, 300 calories – cardboard box, thick plastic bowl, inner plastic steamer tray, plastic sealed top… is nobody else seeing the insanity here???

general tsoThe average human would have to eat a whopping 7 of these ‘Gourmet Steamers’ to meet their daily calorie requirements. Which, beyond cost and nearly doubling our daily sodium needs, would create a mountain of trash big enough to completely bury poor General Tso and stop him from ever objecting to this appalling (on so many levels) bastardization of his namesake.

Our wastefulness has officially crossed over into the obscene. We jack ourselves up on caffeine with single serving cups/lids/stirrers/sugars/creamers. And bottled water!! Buy a f*&%ing filter people!! Convenience, once a glamour, has become an insatiable. We guzzle energy with a gluttony that would make Caligula blush for shame. I live in Calgary, Canada’s pick-up truck capital, and am constantly dodging out of the path of these behemoths. They harness the power of hundreds of horses and thousands of pounds of metal/rubber/glass, but the only load I ever see them hauling is a few inches of penis and a couple of fleshy nuggets riding shotgun below. There certainly can’t be any brains on board!

I am no fanatic, but maybe I’m fool enough to believe that we can all be heralds to this cause. The madness has to stop. I pledge to forward this post to ConAgra Foods, the makers of ‘General Tso’s Spicy Chicken Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamer’, one week from today (Aug. 7th) along with the total number of Likes and Comments received on this blog post (and the same post on Blank Canvas Living’s Facebook page or Twitter). Let’s join hands and jump over that line together, and into the bright new paradigm beyond!

UPDATE (Aug. 7th): As promised, I’ve forwarded this post on to ConAgra Foods and will keep you posted as to their response. Thank you for all your likes and comments!

UPDATE (Aug. 15th): I’ve posted ConAgra’s response in the comment section below. In rebuttal: If the only available solution to a problem is one that has destructive consequences, in this case to the environment, I think we really need to ask ourselves if we have defined a problem worth solving. In this case the ‘problem’ was choosing a material for a one-use microwave safe steamer tray. Do we, as a society, really ‘need’ a one-use microwave safe steamer tray? And if we, as a society, decide that the answer is “yes,” then maybe the root problem lies within the very nature of that society. Which I believe, is the definition of a problem worth solving!

7 thoughts on “Have we all gone mad?

  1. I’m standing with you on this one Cymbria!! (me and the hundreds of throw-away coffee cups I’ve guzzled over the years…..)

    • Thank You! Nothing inspires a gal to be poetic like garbage lol, or maybe love, but now that I’ve mentioned the two in the same sentence I think I’ve broken some cardinal metaphorical literary law-of-the-land.

  2. I hear you! Especially on the water bottles. Ugh. And especially on the crazy-big trucks! Oh! And also especially on all of that packaging waste. I’ve never been inspired to buy one of those meals and I surely will not now.

    • As far as taste goes, you sure won’t be missing out on anything! Those big trucks are pretty much mobile packaging on a grand scale. Sure they’re refillable, but the diesel is always going to be ‘single serving’. Thank you for comment, Suzy!

  3. Response from ConAgra Foods…

    Hello Cymbria,

    Thank you for your email concerning our Healthy Choice Gourmet Steamers.

    Healthy Choice Steamers packaging is made from polypropylene (#5 plastic) in order to provide a package that is both safe for microwave cooking as well as having the ability to function as a steaming package. There is no other material available that can provide both of those critical performance attributes.

    To indicate the plastic resin type, the #5 in the chasing arrows is embossed on the bottom of both the steamer basket and the bottom bowl. While #5 plastic is technically recyclable and is collected in some municipalities, collection of this material is not widely available to the substantial majority of consumers. For that reason, we are not able to claim that this package is recyclable; however, we encourage you to check with your local recycler as it may be collected in your area.

    Thanks again for your feedback. I will share your comments with those who work on this product line.

    I hope you have a great day!

    Christine
    Consumer Affairs Representative
    ConAgra Foods Canada / Aliments ConAgra Canada
    Case: 61899551

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