I was amused by the instructions printed on the plastic pouch. It generously gave the diner two tracks, one a “Preferred Method” and another “In Bag Method”...
J. McKay / My energy to see that my mid-day meal a). happens and b). does not come from a vending machine seems to wax and wane more than my good health, common sense or my wallet would like it too. Sometimes I’m super ambitious andhave quinoa cooking while I’m getting dressed for the day (Haven’t had quinoa (Keen-wah)? It has a nice nutty flavor that pairs well with roasted vegetables and most meats but can also hold its own with black beans and a little sriracha but I digress).
However, many days are like today when I tap my toe at the microwave frustrated that the modern miracle/Pandora’s box of processed foods has the audacity to make me wait for 2 minutes while it prepares from puncture to plating a lunch of soba noodles with stir-fried vegetables (from Costco: the great enabler of the overbooked).
After I finished my meal (actually coming from a box, it was pretty darn tasty but I’m a sucker for quick Asian eats), I was amused by the instructions printed on the plastic pouch that it came from. It generously gave the diner two tracks one a “Preferred Method” and another “In Bag Method”.
Who’s actually getting a ‘preference’ here. The consumer? Because for this consumer the preferred route would have consisted of the instant Yakisoba remaining in my freezer until I needed a cold compress. Is it the food whose preference is being aired here and if so, since when does food get a say in how we eat it. If cows could talk would they be asking us not to make them into kosher hot dogs but they would prefer we serve them as the noble steak.
Really who writes these things? If I were the writer of food labels for a company like this I think I would at least humor the customer with my own hubris. My preferred instructions would have consisted of something like this:
Extract soba noodles from plastic cacoon with the gentleness deserved by such a delicacy. Place noodles in a microwave safe bowl preferably one from the Ming Dynasty. Insert the bowl and noodles into your splatter free stainless steel microwave. Heat for 3 minutes while you tend to your Zen garden or bonsai. Lightly stir and enjoy with wooden chopsticks made from wood of a tree from Mount Fuji.
Then for the rest of you barbarians, the ‘In Bag’ directions: Slam the freezer door and rush out the door forgetting what you really need at work today because you can’t wait for lunch. Puncture bag with your teeth because who has time for utensils. What’s with the microwave, Martha Stewart? Put it underneath the hood of your car the heat generated while you’re racing through school zones will get ‘er done. At your destination? Rip open a corner of the pouch and hold the rest between your shoulder and your ear so you can suck out the noodles while checking your email and finalizing the agenda for your important life. We’d tell you to enjoy but enjoyment breeds idleness. Food is Energy. Energy is Productivity.