Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

Do any of you have even the smallest idea how much of the cost of your take-out food is actually the cost of the packaging?    Or even the food on the supermarket shelves, do you ever consider the time and money that went into assuring that you would pick this box of cereal rather than the other one?

Sure, you've probably seen something about it on Modern Marvels or something similar, but have you ever really thought about the money you are routinely wasting on the one part of the food that you throw away?


My guess is no, because most people don't.  Most people don't like to think farther than their own ease and comfort, after that is all settled, then they bitch about costs.

I need to make one thing perfectly clear, this is a simple idea:  The packaging will not make what is inside it taste better.

One of my biggest downfalls as a retailer of prepared foods was the packaging, I could not reasonably justify jacking up the price of my great food so that there would be a pretty box to put it in.  My cafe was right across the street from an upscale chain eatery that specialized in fancy to-go arrangements, with many thick boxes, bags, soup bowls and all the trimmings.

My clientele was a mixed bag, from the janitors to Arnold Schwarzenegger, we attracted all kinds of people.  Because of the food for sure, but there was more to it; we knew most of our customers by name, knew what they wanted to eat.  And they knew we were on their side, looking out for the bellies, backs and wallets with equal care.

I got teased a lot by my customers, good-natured teasing about the plainness of my simple sandwich wraps, clam shells and brown bags.  But every time I asked them directly, "Would you prefer to pay a dollar more for each thing on the menu?"  The answer was always no.

Perhaps if it was just the economics, I would have caved to the pressure and invested in personalized, festive packaging.  But it is not just that, not to me.  It is the waste that offends me the most, the disgusting waste of it all turns my stomach.  All that packaging goes right into the trash, almost right off the bat;  and then all that trash has to be hauled away by ever bigger trucks, gouging out deep carbon footprints all the way to the dump.

Going green, my ass.  Hypocrites.

Hey, I already warned you that I wasn't going to play nice, the gloves are off now and you can thank those Rapunzel people if you're looking for a goat.

So, yeah, if you are one of those who chooses anything because of the packaging over flavor, you are a hypocrite.


Because you don't actually EAT with your eyes.

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