Junk Snacks and Pandemic Pay

When food corporations reduce the weight of their products and sell them for the same price thinking the consumer won’t notice that is weight deflation. So much about the supermarket industry is an insult to customers. And workers - we’ll get to that.

Deflation Nation

Häagen-Dazs downsized their "pints" to 14 ounces in 2009. Frito-Lay is notorious for packaging their snacks in an endlessly revolving series of different weights all less substantial than the products they sold ten or twenty years ago. And Rice-A-Roni now comes in a 6.4 ounce package! A newspaper ad from 1962 shows two 7 1/2 ounce boxes for 70 cents. Standard boxes contained 8 ounces until recently.

Pro tip: Buy rice in bulk and avoid overprocessed overpackaged overadvertised supermarket crap!

Profits for Some. Death for Others.

Giant retailers like Amazon and Kroger have been applauding their pandemic era “essential workers” who are “heroes” without compensating them for their “front line” efforts in this “war.” In Seattle UFCW21 fought back, persuading the Seattle City Council to pass a $4 per hour hazard pay resolution. The reaction from Kroger? An announcement that Kroger-owned QFC would be closing two Seattle stores. “A case of over-the-top greed and bullying, and it shows how out of touch Kroger is with our community,” according to a UFCW21 press release.

Have you been to the supermarket since the hazard pay law passed? There is rarely more than one person at the registers. This forces the customers to use the “unionbuster” self-checkout, which passes labor costs on to the customer. The cretinous creeps at corporate adjusted to increased labor costs by, no surprise, cutting hours. In a better world the employees would have ownership in the company, through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) or even – if our corporate masters profiting so greatly from the pandemic don’t wise up – an ESMP. Employees seizing the means of production.

Goodbye Hater

Right wing talk radio goon Rush Limbaugh is gone and at the risk of sounding crude (I’ve worked in kitchens and have a vocabulary that reflects that) he is now serving as a prison bride in hell. Saw a Facebook thread where a guy who owns a gallery specializing in Native American art was defending him. A typical Trump voter - a prosperous second generation suburban small business owner lacking self awareness or empathy.

Here’s one of Limbaugh’s many colorful opinions about American Aboriginals. “Let’s check the scoreboard. How many Native Americans were killed by the arrival of the white man through disease and war…how many people have died since the white man arrived due to lung cancer, thanks to the Indian custom of smoking? Who are the real killers here? … Where are our reparations? I’m just saying.”

Welcome to Badburger Home of the Badburger

Tried salvaging some Impossible Burger by making an open-faced broiled sandwich on sourdough with bacon, cheese and condiments. The results? Real ground beef would be better. There is something oily, cloying, indigestible and just plain awful about these artificial badburgers. May I take your order?

Induction Production

Nirvana Wok just acquired an inexpensive induction cooker. It heats to a very high temperature but does not produce the same flame-fired “wok hei” taste that one gets from a gas-fired wok. And you have to be careful - you can burn stuff if you don’t know what you’re doing. Induction cookers are ideal for on-site catering/cooking outdoors, and save lots of clean up time in the kitchen.

Incorporation Situation

Nirvana Wok is about to file to become an LLC. This will be a small annual expense for the filing fee and registered agent service. DISCLOSURE: I plan to spend $500-$1000 out of my own pocket for Nirvana Wok this year. We are still not close to the fundraising stage.

Wait! Junk Food! Treats!

Our processed snack treat of the week would be Safeway’s private label “Signature Select” Vanilla Sundae Ice Cream Bars. Something similar has been produced for half a century, perhaps triggering childhood memories. A nice light ice cream coated with the perfect chocolate, which is reminiscent of the chocolate that comes with those soft serve “dipped” cones at McDonald’s and Dairy Queen. And they are tasty partially because of coconut oil - which is, of course, bad for you.

-Alex