Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Intelligent Foods

Suddenly we have way too many intelligent foods. Surely someone did a market research study and revealed, again, that people are gullible. Specifically, that people like it when their foods have the word “Smart” in the name. (I am totally making this up, by the way.)

Over the last few months I’ve been compiling an informal list of these irritating products.

1. SmartWater
I thought I would start with the absolute worst one and get it out of the way. There are so many reasons to hate bottled water (http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/) as it is, and the Coca-cola company has given us yet another. Is there anything that you can do that is more smug than pulling a bottled water out of your backpack? Yes, there is. Pulling out a bottle of SmartWater. I’ll go ahead and state the obvious: if you pay a couple of bucks every day for something that comes out of a tap in your house, almost for free, and flows from fountains in every public building, how smart are you, really?

Alternative names for SmartWater:
1. SmugWater (probably the most appropriate)
2. SuckWater (harsh, but fun)
3. DumbWater (yeah, I went there)
4. ToiletWater (not really)
5. AssWater (sorry)

2. Smart Links

Veggie Links, maybe. But if you want to get nit-picky, real sausage comes from a vertebrate with a central nervous system while this stuff comes from comparatively stupid soybean plants.

3. Smart Balance

This is a brand of various fatty condiments (margarine, peanut butter, etc.), the idea being that you can make them out of healthy fats instead of unhealthy fats. While this is probably not a bad idea, you’re still eatin’ grease. Full disclosure: I have Smart Balance mayonnaise in my fridge right now.

4. Smart Chicken

No, it’s not.

5. Smartfood

Smartfood I can almost forgive because they were doing this before it was cool. That is, before it was common. I remember Smartfood from the 80’s so maybe they shouldn’t be lumped together with these bandwagoneers. Still, though. Eating a bag of white cheddar flavored popcorn is rarely a "smart" idea. Perhaps only in times of winter or famine.

Douglas Adams had some thoughts on this as well: