Lee Pitts: A bone to pick
The only kind of shopping I do is grocery shopping because food is my business, and my life. In doing the weekly shopping one thing has become painfully obvious to me: in the product extension area beef is a flat-out failure. Just look at the almond folks; they’ve taken a previously little-known nut and put it in ice cream, cakes, cans of beans, salads, cereals, candy, cookies, chips, protein bars and a shopping cart full of other foods. And it’s a nut! As a result, the almond farmers I know are driving late model pickups and taking vacations to exotic locales like Paris and Rome. (That’s Paris, Texas, and Rome, Ill.) The raisin growers have done the same thing and yet I bet I haven’t met six people in my entire life who’ve admitted to liking raisins.
Surely there are many products that could use a little beefing up. Come with me now as I take you on a tour of a modern supermarket and suggest products that would NOT be left gathering dust on the shelf, past their expiration date, if they only had a little beef in them. Or, in the case of pickles and oatmeal, a LOT of beef.
We are in the salad dressing aisle now and I notice that ranch dressing appears to be the favorite kind, and yet there is nothing “ranchy” about it. No cow parts or body fluids at all! It’s like trying to find the grapes in Grape Nuts! How can you have ranch dressing without any beef? After reading the labels I’d say mostly what ranch dressing is made of are chemicals that sound like something you’d spray on weeds.
Now we are in the ice cream section and I see that Ben and Jerry’s has a flavor called Phish Food. Yuck! Ice cream gets mixed with a lot of stuff these days but I think Haagen-Das really missed the boat by not selling Bacon Bits Ice Cream, a combination of two of the greatest things on earth. But the pork people’s lack of vision provides a real opportunity for cattleman. Instead of Phish Food, which sounds like something I’d feed the roses, how about a Beef Bits Dove Bar or a frozen Sirloin On A Stick? YUMMM!
In the candy aisle I do not see a single Milky Way, Reese’s Pieces, or Pop Tart with any beef in it, and you can’t tell me that a cheeseburger dipped in chocolate wouldn’t sell like bovine hotcakes. If people will buy Raisinets they’ll surely buy a McDonalds Candy Coated Big Mac, or a Filet Mignon M & M that will truly melt in your mouth. And where are the Slim Jim Mash Ups and Beef Jerky Roll Ups for kids?
I’m standing now in the most crowded part of any grocery store, in front of the Hostess section, and I don’t see a single T-Bone Twinkie, Beef Zinger, or Brisket Sno Ball. It’s probably why they went bankrupt. We’re always talking about having a hard time getting rid of the cheaper cuts of beef but if you combined them with Zingers, Twinkies and sugarcoated pies, we’d all be selecting cattle with beefier briskets.
There are creamy and crunchy kinds of peanut butter, but not cowy, and the barbecue potato chips appear to be meat-free. I ask you, how can you have a barbecue without meat? The cereal goes snap, crackle, pop, but not “MOO.” If they really wanted to make Special K really “special” they’d put some beef in it.
While kids are rotting their teeth drinking soda they might as well get a little protein by drinking a PepsiCow or a Coca Cow Cola. And Gerber’s Baby Food has way too many strained carrots, peas and pears in it for my taste. If Gerber babies had a beef-covered bone to gnaw on maybe they’d quit their incessant crying. A beef flavored pacifier would have them hooked for life, I’m quite sure.
Yoplait could sell a roast beef yogurt and eating all that popcorn without beef can’t be good for Orville Redenbacher. If they added a little rib-eye to their shampoo I’d buy Pert Plus Plus, and Old Scent could market a hamburger underarm deodorant that would have both the girls, and the dogs, following any man who used it.
Hands down, the two products I saw in the grocery store that could use a little beef the most were the vegetarian lasagna and the poultry grilling package.