Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Proposals for individuals and consumers:

1 – These days most shoppers check out the calorie count of any food they buy.
Some do it to make sure they aren’t taking in too many calories.  Others just make believe they know what they are looking at to impress other shoppers who blindly place anything colorful in their shopping carts.
But calorie counts are important and should be understandable and standardized so as to aid consumer value and worth.
For example a jar of Kalamata olives states that a serving will cost you 22 calories toward your daily intake.  But you then have to find out what the distributor considers a serving. In this case that turns out to be a mere 2 olives.
This is slightly more than the ‘betcha can’t eat just one’ company ad but trust me, nobody is going to just eat two of these tiny tasty morsels of Greek goodness.
In order to be fair across the full spectrum of edibles we should have a standard such as 100 calories just as coffee and other products now show ‘per pound’ pricing.
You may wish to buy an inexpensive can of coffee, sorry Starbucks, but when you visit the store you find cans of varying size and price with totally different amounts inside. One can contains 10.5 ounces while another 14!
Or you may visit a large box store such as Costco and find various brands on sale for 32.5 or 48 ounces.
And to make matters more confusing, the cans might even be the same size.
But the one thing all stores do, since it became a law, is to show the ‘per pound’ price so you can make an informed decision.
You will then note that the 48 ounce can at $9.99 is actually cheaper than the 32.5 ounce can for nearly $2½ less at $7.50! (Do the math yourself please – this post is long enough already!)
The same should be available to consumers, especially calorie conscious ones when it comes to buying food.
So in the case of those pesky but tasty olives noted above there would be another single piece of information provided on the label, the “100 calorie serving size.”
To wit: 100 Calories equals 9 olives.
Now you can eat those nine olives along with that tiny but popular bag of chips and a can of Pepsi One and only intake 201 calories!
Bon appétit!

2 – Finding expiration dates on food products should not require you to hire Sherlock Holmes.
Have you ever spent an inordinate amount of time searching the label on a can or a plastic bag for the suggested last date of sale?
Do you think the dates are placed in various places so as to make them easier for you to find?
Gallons of milk generally show the date near the top of the container and most consumers can find it quickly; pre-packaged plastic bags of lettuce or salads, not so much.
Have you ever opened a container of milk only to be hot with an odor reminiscent of that found in a coroner’s office?  It is not pleasant.
We should have uniformity for that most important date on all containers of perishables.
For example if the bag has a ‘zip top’ top the date must be clearly visible just below the tear zone and on the right side of the front of the package.
If the product is sold in a can the date must appear on the bottom so that when it is open the date is still available should the consumer not finish the contents in one sitting.
Of course if the contents are moved then all bets are off.
And any freshly baked bread sold in those open paper bags must show the date clearly near the opening lest the consumer be obliged to handle the product and move it around and over and touch it in many places to find the purposely hidden date which invariably is yesterday!

Still Good

3 – Finally since America is hell bent on turning our society into that of care givers or web-surfing consumers we must find a way to get money into the hands of the public so that they can still buy the products made by giant corporations in their overseas plants.
We know that the wealthiest among us find any governmental assistance to be anathema so the only solution is to pay people for either their work or their personal information or both!
The way things are now we get paid a salary or a commission or some form of payment for that which we do for a company.
But the thing those companies desire most of all, the thing they crave, that which they hire analysts and or geeks sitting in front of monitors in dark single room apartments all over the world is our habits, desires, wants, needs and especially our basic demographics.
In other words our personal information!
Many of us give it up freely if inadvertently by filling out forms for employment or a loyalty card at a national grocery store chain, or some absurd social media site created by a greedy somewhat evil troll who ruthlessly became a billionaire and a staunch Republican who now spends a great deal of time and money coming up with ways to make more money and keep the lowly users of his brainchild from getting ahead.
Okay the last rant may have been slightly over the top but trust me, only slightly!
When an actor is in a commercial or a television show the smarter ones with savvy agents make sure they are given contracts that include royalties.  The agent also gets an annuity this way so it is generally de rigueur.
This means the actor will get paid a minimum amount even after the first airing of the performance and every time that performance is aired ad infinitum.
For many actors it is their only form of pay and without it they would only get an initial check and be done while their work would continue to air forever making money for the producer and or the product involved.
Some form of payment should also be made to those of us whose information is sold from one corporation to another for monetary gain between them!
It is after all our information!
Our personal information!!
Or has the world of big business conveniently forgotten the word PERSONAL?
So consumers should be given a commission for every sale or use of their habits, movements or demographic info.
And there should be a way to track this exchange of information so that credits can be made for the poor unaware sap sitting at home who just got a ‘personal’ email from a company he never heard of that figured out he is just the type to desire and buy the brand new Vita-Meata-Vegamin product, even though he never knew it existed!
At least that way he might be able to afford the useless machine and pay for it out of his Monthly Personal Info Exchange (M-PIE) royalties.


If you find any of these ideas to your liking please feel free to forward them to the head of the Consumer Products Agency before it is de-funded.  And if you find none of the above to your liking have fun at your next fundraising event for Tea Party Republicans.

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