As a big fan of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” I was surprised to see him dabbling in my world Monday night.More...
As someone who loves a good snark, I’m a big fan of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” On Monday night, I was surprised to see him
dabbling in my world(advance to about 0:45). He announced a new inductee to “The Daily Show Pantry of Shame,” a roster of dubious food products that include sausage and pancakes on a stick, and bacon-flavored mayonnaise. (I can’t even hint at what he said about the latter.) This time it was not the product that raised his ire, but the packaging: Del Monte marketing single bananas in plastic wrap.
In true Stewart fashion, he ripped this idea to shreds, suggesting that it was “a product for people who love bananas but hate their biodegradability.” He went on to show a model of his new product based on that principle: whole coconuts “protected” inside larger, hinged coconut shells. The satire was set up by this rhetorical question: “What problem, what function does the bag serve that the peel does not currently serve?”
Well, there happens to be a non-rhetorical answer: Shelf life, which for a bare banana is about two days. The plastic wrap stretches it to five.
A 150% increase in shelf life is a big deal for convenience stores, which are routinely slammed for their unhealthy food offerings. In my own case, my local c-store is the only place to buy a fresh banana for several miles around. I once asked the proprietor how he could carry a supply of them when they go bad so fast, and he replied that he has a big core of customers who like nearly black bananas because they’re sweeter and/or better for cooking. If that wasn’t the case, no bananas for me until my next trip to the supermarket.
Once I knew something about the subject of snark on “The Daily Show,” it wasn’t so funny. I have a feeling that’s happened to more than a few people.
-Pan Demetrakakes, editor