Sunday 04 Dec 2016

Squeezable Food
Jennifer Flaten

What is our obsession with squeezable food? If you don’t know, what I mean by squeezable food, either you don’t have children or you don’t spend the same amount of time in the grocery store each week that I do.

I could probably add up all the time I spend there each week and give you a firm number, but it would be depressing to find out that grocery shopping qualifies as my full-time job. The benefits are terrible.

Naturally, you assume I am doing something wrong, like not planning my meals or not taking a list. Ha! I do all those things and I still end up at the grocery store every other day. The kids simply inhale the food before it even gets in my pantry. Except for the peas, no one touches the peas.

Anyway, first there was yogurt in a tube. It is yogurt, but no utensils are necessary to eat it. Simply cut the tube open and slurp.

It was such a hit that food companies looked for more things to put in a tube. Applesauce was the next food offered in a pouch. Apparently, the tube shape just didn’t work for applesauce…or the yogurt people patented the tubes.

You get the applesauce by popping open a little spout and squeezing it into your mouth. Now, I like applesauce, but something about sucking the applesauce out of a plastic pouch gives me the willies.

Naturally, the kids prefer applesauce in a pouch, which is the world’s best invention. Sadly, for them, applesauce in a pouch is about a 100% more expensive than regular applesauce thus it will never appear in snack cabinet.

Do you think the kids would find applesauce in a Ziploc bag an acceptable substitute? Why not? Just snip off the corner and twist and squeeze. The cooking programs always say that is a good stand in for a piping bag, I figure it could work for applesauce. No? I guess I will cross that off this week’s to do list.

Last week I discovered pudding in a pouch. Pudding, one the world’s easiest foods to eat, is now even more convenient to eat. There is no need to lift a heavy spoon to your mouth, just rip open and squirt in your mouth.

What next beef stroganoff-with no chewing necessary!

I am well aware that the military, in fact, does have beef stroganoff or its generic equivalent in a pouch. Fine cuisine is not what the military builds its reputation on, now is it? I rest my case.

Is this sudden explosion of food items in pouches because we are getting too lazy to actually use utensils to eat or is it because we all still harbor a secret desire to be an astronaut?

I see the future race of the human race and it includes a proboscis. The proboscis is necessary so we can slurp every drop of pudding goodness out of the pouch. 

I know that KFC is eliminating bone in chicken because test marketing indicates people find the bone in chicken hard to eat. I’ll give you a minute to absorb that information.

I guess if you spent your formative years eating food out a tube while strapped in a minivan you might find chicken on the bone a little tough to manage.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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