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10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and Drinks

I thought of this idea yesterday when everyone was talking about green beer. Sometimes, foods are just supposed to be one color. And when they’re not, it feels wrong.

I know that green beer is regular beer with tasteless food coloring added. And yet, when you drink it, your mind thinks something is off. Food colors matter.

So I put together this list of 11 weirdly-colored foods, strange food colors, and/or experiments in food coloring that were just flat-out wrong

  • Green beer. Alcohol shouldn’t color your tongue. If it does, you’re doing it wrong. That’s why I never do shots out of test tubes. Why put the shots that are all juice and coloring into the nerdiest scientific item in the entire bar? They don’t light up your flaming shots with a bunsen burner.
  • green beer 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and DrinksPink fake bacon (or “fakon”). I don’t get why they do this on vegetarian products. It’s not bacon. It doesn’t taste like bacon. And, worst of all, in their attempts to make it resemble bacon, it’s hot pink with fake off-white marbling.
  • pink soy bacon 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and DrinksPurple ketchup. At one point, Heinz decided that kids didn’t want red ketchup any more, they wanted colored ketchup. The stuff looks like, at best, mold.
  • purple ketchup 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and DrinksBlue raspberry. I never understood why blue became the universal color of raspberry in candy. I get that cherry is red, but kids aren’t stupid. And they haven’t lost their vision yet… they can still visually discern between red and maroon or red and vermilion. “Blue raspberry” was such a weird decision someone made once upon a time that stuck.

blue raspberry gum 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and Drinks

  • Crystal Pepsi. Frankly, this was all just an elaborate ruse to cram yet another reference to Crystal Pepsi onto this blog.
  • crystal pepsi 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and DrinksGreen eggs. My name is Sam. For my entire life I have been tormented by this food. At least when people want to make a lame cultural reference to my name they go for “Sam I Am” and not “I Am Sam”. And then to round it out I could say “Am I Sam?”
  • green eggs1 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and DrinksPink butter. Unacceptable. If butter’s pink, how can Americans continue to secretly cook everything in it and fatten up. The pink would leave evidence behind.
  • pink butter 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and DrinksWhite mint chocolate chip. I remember when my mom bought some white mint chocolate chip ice cream. I thought it was weird. Then I ate some and it was effing delicious. Seriously. I think my mom and I would’ve killed a man for trying to take this away from us.I’m fairly sure that green is added to most cheaper mint chocolate chip ice creams just to distinguish it from regular chocolate chip.

    It’s like the green color in the Shamrock Shake. Does it really add a minty taste or is that in your head? (And, more importantly, did you just think to yourself, “Oh shit it’s March 18th McDonald’s is gonna stop selling Shamrock Shakes this week I gotta go buy one before I get McRibbed.”

  • white mint chocolate 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and DrinksPurple mashed potatoes. I actually don’t care for mashed potatoes, so this doesn’t gross me out any more than regular white mashed potatoes.

purple mashed pottato 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and Drinks

  • Black tomatoes. These, on the other hand, gross me out hardcore.

black tomatoes 10 Strange, and Often Wrong, Colored Foods and Drinks

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Food For Thought?

When someone says “We should all waste less food” it’s very hard to disagree. Really, there is no excuse for chucking out one third of all the food we buy is there?

fridgefoodju2 Food For Thought?

On the face of it, Gordon Brown should be congratulated for saying we should all waste less food.  But that is not all he said this week, and the detail deserves a bit of examination…

First it is worth looking at the backdrop.  Did he say we should all waste less food because it is obscene that we throw so much away with millions of people worldwide suffering from malnutrition?  Well I’m sure that comes into it, but it seems that his desire to tackle the subject now has a lot more to do with underlying economic conditions.

We’re told that consumer confidence is at an all time low.  That means we are all rather worried about the economic outlook, with the key factors being those closest to home – the ever rising cost of our weekly shop and eye-watering rises in petrol prices.

But what probably worries him more (and so it should) is the rapidly climbing savings break ratio.  The savings break essentially compares how much consumers are borrowing with how much they are saving and, in the first quarter of this year, it rose to 69p borrowed for every pound saved.  To put that in perspective, this time last year it was 29p.  Why?  Because borrowing (not including mortgages) rose to £22.4bn between January and March (up £13bn), whilst savings slumped to £32.7bn (down £11bn).

Basically, that means that too many people are betting the house (literally) on being able to maintain current spending patterns by borrowing – and hoping the economy sorts itself sooner rather than later.  Given that we appear to be on the brink of a serious downturn (Can we use the ‘R’ word yet?), that doesn’t look terribly sensible.  What’s more, it hardly helps the situation in the financial markets – with banks desperate to rake in savings to prop up their access to cash.

When you put it in context, this move to encourage us to waste less is designed to address an unpleasant issue that affects every single person in the country – the cost of feeding ourselves whilst food prices continue to move skywards.  Ever the populist, Brown wants to help and says the only way to get food prices down again is to curb demand.  But is putting the onus on consumers really the only way?

What about the supermarkets?  We can’t blame producers for passing on the increased cost of producing food (They are already squeezed to bursting point by the supermarkets’ demand for ever lower supply prices).  After all, we want them to stay in business.  But is it really necessary for supermarkets to mark up those increases?  Don’t they make enough money at it is (Tesco made £2.5bn last year)?  And, if the Government really wants to stop us wasting food, why not stop supermarkets using loyalty card data and store layout changes to actively encourage impulse buying?

That’s all a bit moot though, because it seems the ball has been put firmly in our court.  And I suppose it’s not all bad news – we could all save as much as £8 per week by wasting less (In the context of rising costs for just about every household essential, saving just over £400 per year can’t hurt…).

Having said all that, I have to confess that I (and my family) used to be terrible for wasting food, but we did something about it ages ago.  Not just because it saves money, but also because wasting food doesn’t feel right.  We probably throw away ten percent of the food we used to and it really isn’t about depriving ourselves, just taking some common sense precautions:

  • Eat before you shop – The hungry shopper is the king or queen of the impulse buy
  • Banish the monthly shop – Plan what you will eat for the next week and buy the stuff you need to make it, no more no less.  That doesn’t mean no treats, it just means you won’t buy stuff you don’t need and that will probably end up being thrown away
  • Don’t live by the label – Just because something is nearing or past it’s ‘use by’ date doesn’t mean you have to chuck it.  Obviously you have to be careful with things like meat, but the label is a guide not a rule.  Common sense can prevail and most of us have freezers these days…

Of course, there is another solution.  If we waste one third of all our food, and one third of all food is sold at Tesco…

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