Thursday, April 14, 2005

Of Karl Marx and Cool-Whip

The University of Chicago has a lot to answer for. For example: me.

You see, the problem with being grievously over-educated is that you find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time thinking deep thoughts about shallow subjects. Take the matter of Cool-Whip. This fluffy white substance has been occupying my gray cells for quite a while. Basically, what's it all about, Cool-Whip? (I mean, other than being a source of cheap plastic containers, which it undoubtedly is.) Like, who really likes it? Does anyone think it tastes like whipped cream (which I'm assuming--correct me if I'm wrong--it's supposed to resemble.)

My idea is that Cool-Whip is designed for only one thing: to make people get fat by getting them to consume highly caloric non-foodstuffs. In that, of course, it is not alone; there are millions of junk foods with the same goal. But follow me closely here. You get into your car and drive to the supermarket, where you can (I believe) get Cool-Whip in the freezer section. You buy it and bring it home. You put it in your refrigerator or your freezer. Then, whenever you have an urge for a dollop of whipped topping, you take it out and serve it forth.

Compare this to whipped cream. You have to bring home a carton of cream, get out a bowl and mixer and some powdered sugar and vanilla, and then you have to whip that cream for about 15 minutes. Now let's imagine that you don't have a mixer. You have to do all of the above, plus you have to get out the whisk and actually whisk the cream for 15 minutes.

Now let's say you actually have to walk to the supermarket to get the cream. Or--and I admit this is a stretch--milk the cow and separate the cream yourself.

Well, you see where I'm going here. The idea is to commodify foodstuffs so they are cheap to manufacture, have an indefinite shelf-life, and are easy to consume. And since the way to stay fit is to eat food in its natural state and move around a lot, something like Cool Whip is ideally suited to make people get fat. If people had to whip cream for fifteen minutes to get whipped cream, they'd eat a hell of a lot less cream. But they will apparently wolf down squillions of whipped-cream-calorie-equivalents worth of Cool-Whip, and it's just as easy as pie. And that's why, ladies and gentleman of the jury, Cool Whip is on my long list of Horrifying Foodstuffs, as is any food prepared with it as an ingredient.

More recipes and rantings real soon. I just had to vent. (It's Karl Marx's fault!)