OK, son, let’s talk about how much the world has progressed since I was your age. You hear a lot of parents whining about how they used to walk 10 miles in the snow to school, or how our televisions used to take up a third of the living room even though the screens were 6 inches wide. Fair enough. Honestly, though, that’s nothing compared to the issues with food. For example, did you know that ketchup used to only come in one color? Yup, just red. I know, right? If you were red/green color blind you didn’t know whether that was really ketchup you were putting on your hot dog or baby poop (Although, I suppose the results would be mostly the same).
You, my friend, have it easy. Did you know that your parents used to have to use our teeth when eating things? It’s true. We used to have to chew stuff just so it would fit down our throats. Now, of course, your fruit is already mashed, cut or dried–transformed into tiny, barely recognizable morsels pre-loaded into your cereal, yogurt and McDonald’s pies.
Corn was the worst; it used to be packaged in–get this–leaves! You’d have to peel away these leaves and the corn was stuck on this big stick called a “cob.” We used to have to scrape it off with our front teeth. You, on the other hand, get to pour it from its can directly onto your microwavable plate. I bet 50 people, 4 trucks and countless machines were involved in getting that corn from its primitive natural state to the sugar-soaked, leaf and cob-free, sterilized and canned, individual bite-sized, vitamin-deprived kernels you take for granted. I never had so many people and so much effort go into preparing my food for me, so don’t give me crap about how bad your life is.
Just to give you an idea about how much we’ve progressed from when I was a kid, I’ve supplied a simple example below. It will show you how much work has gone into making your life better. You’ll see, we used to be total primitive idiots who were forced to eat raw fruit within days of it being picked. Things are way better now.
Instead of the old-fashioned way in which fruit was picked and sent directly to market, your food is prepared this way:
Step 1: Pick a fruit that comes with a perfect 100% natural wrapper and, instead of shipping to the market, ship to a processing plant 1000 miles away.
Step 2: Peel away the perfect 100% natural wrapper–often referred to as “skin.”
Step 3: Pulverize the fruit until it’s mush.
Step 4: Super-heat the mush so it’s sterile since it no longer has the perfect 100% natural wrapper.
Step 5: Add cinnamon because super-heating the fruit made it taste like crap.
Step 6: Use a gallon of oil to make a new, non-degradable, non-recyclable plastic wrapper to replace the perfect 100% natural wrapper that was removed.
Step 7: Squirt the pulverized, super-heated, taste augmented mush into the plastic wrapper and cap with plastic.
Step 8: Spend the million dollars necessary on marketing experts in order to convince people that all that work actually created a better product than the original one with the perfect 100% natural wrapper.
Step 9: Put 24 of the newly packaged fruit into a cardboard tray, wrap the plastic packages in more plastic and heat-shrink it to hold the whole thing together.
Step 10: Load the plastic-wrapped packages of plastic encased fruit onto diesel trucks and drive thousands of miles.
Step 11: Unload, throw out the plastic and recycle the cardboard that hold the plastic encased fruit.
Step 12: Place the plastic encased, pulverized, super-heated, taste augmented mush on a shelf a few steps away from fruit encased in its original perfect 100% natural wrapper.
Step 13: Price the plastic encased, pulverized, super-heated, taste augmented mush at roughly six times what one would pay for the equivalent amount of perfectly packaged, raw, fresh fruit.
You’ve got to love progress. Next time you start to complain about how we grownups have messed up the world you’re inheriting maybe you’ll think of this and realize how much better we’ve made it for you.