Food As Fun Or Fun Food

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by isa, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. isa

    isa

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    Food manufacturers thought food has to be fun. Your bowl of oatmeal now contains treasures. Heinz sales has gone up 5% since their green and purple ketchup hits the market. Parker is manufacturing shocking pink and electric blue margarine in a squeeze bottle.


    It’s not enough to serve good, tasteful meals these days, your food now has to entertain you. This is scary, kids will now demand that their food be amusing. “I don’t want to eat salad it’s no fun…”


    It started innocently with toys included with cereals or other food that came with a toy. Then there was meals market for kids that came with a toy. It was all very innocent, then the trend got out of control so much so food has to fun to eat.


    Dinner is a time where the whole family came together, to share the events of their day. To eat together quietly. A time to unwind. It’s been like this for centuries. It changed a bit, for some families, when television was born. Most parents quickly banned television from the dining room. That was a good move. Unfortunately with television came advertising and more marketing. While you’re trying to protect your family’s meal time someone is trying to imagine how to steal this quiet time from you. That’s when fun food was born. It was very innocent at first. Cereal made out like letters, pasta in the shape of letters or dinosaurs. Chicken noodle soup with crocodile shape noodle.


    Why can’t food just be food?

    How far will this go?
     
  2. chefboy2160

    chefboy2160

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    Hey Isa , I totaly agree with you . Whats up with this marketing strategy and how far can it go ?
    At my last job I was executive chef of a large hospital in charge of patient food , cafeteria , doctors lounge and buffet as well as many catering events . After 2 1/2 years on the job and with satisfaction at an all time high my new regional director of operations ( I worked for a contract management company Yuk )
    came for a visit and after inspecting the hospital he called me to the side and told me that my food was boring and that I needed to make it fun . I asked him in no uncertain terms just what the heck fun food was ? He told me that I was the chef and it was my job to use my creative ability to figure this out . I thought about it for a month and I finally gave notice and took a Food Service Directors job with another Hospital . 3 months after I left the contract service company was terminated for food complaints accross the board . I guess that fun food just did not taste as good as scratch cooking .
    Just a quick history of my job there , when I took the position the food was mostly prefab , or out of a can or a bag . I started teaching my cooks how to scratch cook , real stocks , fresh veggies , roux , batch cooking , homemade soups , and a carving station for the roasts . My success at this hospital was due to good wholesome homemade food made with love , not made for fun . Of course that is just my opinion......................
     
  3. pastachef

    pastachef

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    Good points, Isa and Chefboy. I believe that good old fashioned comfort foods are coming back. It is making my job at the sorority a lot more pleasant and imaginitative.
     
  4. isa

    isa

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    It all started with animal cookies it was down hill after that. Chicken nuggets shape into dinosaur, tic tac to pizza. Something is wrong. You sit down to eat not to be amuse or entertain. It’s the company that should be entertaining and amusing!


    Last time I was in the hospital the food was disgusting. I would settle for edible and fresh. I can not believe in an hospital they would ask for fun food and have no concern of how the food taste. Canned fruits, over cooked veggies. Give me a fresh piece of fruit not over cook white fish in a white sauce.


    Don’t get me wrong, presentation is important, attention to details and everything. It’s great when you can make things special on holidays, specially in hospitals. Hearts on Valentine day, and Santa on Christmas are fine but that’s it. I don’t want clowns on my plate or in front of me when I eat.


    I can’t help to think this new trend will be a problem with kids. Carrots and zucchini will never be fun food but you need fruits and vegetables in your diet. Already, with the pink and blue margarine, kids wants to eat more than they should just because of the colour. Fun food is In the end only junk food. Their diet will contain even more fat and less vitamins and nutrients.
     
  5. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Boy, I've ALWAYS thought food was fun. It crosses so many borders...to explore other countries through their food, To see how it is grown and the varietals, to mix and match flavors, to create a meal....I believe in thematic studies in schools, food just happens to be universal....FOOD IS FUN!!!LEARNING AND TEACHING ARE FUN!!! There will be junk in the system if people support it...food is political which is a shame.
     
  6. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    I see the same situation that Isa describes even here, in traditional Greece.
    I read a survey about my country according to which 7 out of 10 children have never had lunch or dinner in the same time with their parents the last 5 years!! They eat junk food , alone , in front of a TV set...

    In my opinion in older generations the fun of food was in it's preparation time, the gathering of the family around the table.
    99% of the stories I recall from my grandparents are related to one way or another with the preparation of food or the family table. All the advices and stories I remember they were narrated to me as my grandmother was stirring something in a casserole...

    So, the kids of our days can find amusement and fun of food only in its colors and shape...

    What a pity indeed, to think that the food is fun only because it has a bizarre color...

    :(