In which the question “WHY?” is asked yet again

I noticed when I was grocery shopping last week that the boxes for my favorite Stouffer’s Homestyle (TV) dinners, those ubiquitous red box dinners, no longer claimed to include vegetables. “Twice as much meat!” they said, but on the vegetable issue they were silent. I bought the turkey dinner, one of my favorites largely because the vegetables were pretty good: Green beans with little bits of cranberry in them (I think it was cranberry). Granted, the Sorbonne would not grant diplomas to the Stouffer’s food engineers for their culinary achievement with these vegetables, but they were pretty good for a frozen dinner.

I ate the dinner tonight. The box was entirely correct: No vegetables. Just turkey chunks on stuffing with gravy, and mashed potatoes. Well, ok, there were a few celery pieces in the stuffing. I don’t think that counts.

What, was the Stouffer’s company going bankrupt because of green beans? Did their market research people talk to only 10 year old picky eaters? Is providing balanced nutrition conveniently just a fad whose day has passed? Sure, I could make my own vegetable serving. But if I’m going to that trouble, why not just make my own meat and potato servings too?

I just wish people would stop improving things that don’t need improvement.

About songdogmi

I'm a longhaired almost-hippie stuck in the inner suburbs of a major rust-belt metropolis who's thoughtful, creative, and kind of geeky. In exchange for a paycheck I run around in a cubicle maze most days. When I escape, I play music, hang out in coffee houses, dink around on the computer, take naps, and think I should be off in the woods somewhere. Every once in a while I get in my car and drive far, far away, though I've always come back so far.
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3 Responses to In which the question “WHY?” is asked yet again

  1. altivo says:

    They will tell you it was market research. They asked, and people told them that they don’t eat the vegetables, they just throw them away. I’m entirely confident of that. The average American adult does indeed eat like a picky ten year old. I’ve been observing this with disgust for years now.

    • songdogmi says:

      Most of the time, veggies in TV dinners are afterthoughts and just not worth the time. But in the turkey dinner, and in the red box meatloaf dinner (formerly peas and carrots, now nothing), they were worth having. Maybe they figure people interested in nutrition weren’t eating their products anyway, so just go with what’s popular. Mind, I don’t dispute what you say about average Americans. Vegetable eating has gone out of fashion, I suppose one could say.

      • altivo says:

        Yeah, you could put it that way. I’m really grossed out by the way most people seem to eat today. It’s all junk, all of it. Fast food, frozen crap, nothing fresh or green at all.

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