Friday, January 27, 2006

is that a meatball in your pocket or are you just having a heart attack?

Toward the end of my Wednesday night Torture by Treadmill for Better Health, Rachael Ray took her final quick break from "30 Minute Meals" and left me to suffer through the third Hot Pockets* commercial to air during the half-hour show. And whilst I schvitzed my mind did wander, and I thought to myself: If the Hot Pockets people have developed a "healthier" product (a smidge less fatty but just as likely to kill you) that purportedly looks the same, smells the same, tastes the same ("He doesn't know it's Lean!") and costs the same as the original, why do they continue to sell the one that's REALLY bad for you? Shouldn't the new and improved version render the original obsolete? Does anyone else find this irresponsible?

Stop rolling your eyes. I know I rant about unhealthy food a lot. If you confiscate my soapbox I will only spread my gospel from atop your empty Hot Pockets cartons.

I visited the company's website this morning and was not at all surprised to find the following information listed for each product line:

  • Lean Pockets: servings per container; calories; calories from fat; total fat; Weight Watchers points; and a link to the complete Nutrition Facts label.
  • Hot Pockets: servings per container; ounces per serving (nine); and a link for "where to buy."
Clearly they're catering to two different audiences. And I get that -- it's how a multi-product business is run. But isn't there something to be said for doing just a few things and doing them right? Isn't there some inherent value in simplicity?

Also -- and mostly unrelated -- apparently Hot Pockets is holding some kind of t-shirt giveaway. To me there's a significant disconnect between a company that devotes a wing of its website to "Family Fun," and a shirt that labels the wearer "Fast & Easy." (I'm ordering mine today!)

So who's in charge there? Whose is the Great Brain that decided to keep Fat Pockets stocked in your grocer's freezer? And why is his left arm going numb?

I feel better now that I got that out of my system. I suggest all you Hot Pocket eaters do the same.

*This post is in no way meant to condone the consumption of any Hot, Lean or other type pocket. Except maybe pita, but that's really bread.


Velvet said...

I'm just sorry you had to suffer through Rachel Ray, who seems to be gaining pounds by the second. Marriage must agree with her.

Did she knock herself unconscious with her hands?

I've never had a hotpocket. I am the proud owner of Hot Pants, though.

Washington Cube said...

Like you, I tend to seek out healthier fair and be rather conscious in my shopping habits. However, one day while shopping I happened to pass the aisle where Hot Pockets reside, saw a "lean" version being offered, and decided to stop and check out the nutritional information on the box. I cannot remember the calories or fat content, but it was appalling. See how lazy I am not to look it up on the website? :) I gather that people eat these things all of the time.

Isn't it interesting that they are running ads for such bad food on the Food TV Network? I used to watch Rachael Ray occasionally... her 30-Minute Meals, her $40 A Day. She has a lot of mannerisms that annoy me, so I can't really take her. I also don't like her cooking approach. I still wonder how any of these women who are slender with cooking shows manage, being constantly surrounded by food. You get this terrible image of Rachael starving, then getting married and going "whew" and everything goes blowsy.

Larissa said...

oh god Rachel Ray. her and her EVOO drive me nuts!

Snowflake Chaser said...

Larissa - I HEAR YOU! Why even call it EVOO when she has to explain it every time?! "Now we're gonna add a little EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil..." and then all over again in 5 minutes.

The juxtaposition of the RR and HPs (haha) does make sense to me though. She's always saying, "Here's a healthy dish," as she puts 3 Tbs of butter and 3 Cs bacon into a frying pan. I mean, Hot Pockets have cheese, which has calcium and protein, right? And they certainly can help you maintain your $40-a-Day budget!

I've had my share of "lean" pockets, but I wouldn't call it by choice given it's usually been between those or a green-grey hot dog at some middle-of-nowhere gas station at 4 in the morning while driving cross country. They're not familyfriendly. Or good for you. They're cardboard with sauce and glue (do they really think that's cheese?) in disguise.

The Daily Rant said...

What I want to know is HOW do people who eat Hot Pockets stay thin?

I worked with a girl who had a GREAT body....did not work out....and usually had a Hot Pocket either for breakfast (they make them with eggs, bacon, saugage, etc. inside) or a Hot Pocket for lunch. She didn't work out and she usually ate crap all day.

HOW? HOW? Can it be just genes? If so, I hate her more than I did when I worked with her! LOL

And although I like Rachel Ray most of the time, the EVOO is kind of annoying. Plus, I think she's just chunky by nature. Think of the food she must have in HER house. Lucky husband.

Velvet said...

I just read "the daily rant's" comment as "think of the food she must have in her blouse. I don't know how I saw that instead of "house" but it was damn funny. And now I'm wondering, what does she keep in her blouse..

always write said...

If my tits were bigger I would totally stash Luna bars in my cleavage.

Reya Mellicker said...

What I wonder is why anyone wants to eat a product called Hot Pockets. That sounds so disgusting.

I'm certain I'm at least as fussy about food as you are, Danielle. My roommates always tease me because I use unbleached sugar for instance, or for having my coffee mailed to me every month from Berkeley, California (even though that's all they drink now), or about the organic produce I insist upon, how I turn up my nose at Safeway-grade mad cow beef or chicken that is so shot full of antibiotics, etc. that it tastes like cardboard, etc. etc.

I could go on and on, but I won't. I am neo-bohemian, but I'm still a princess. I LOVE your food rants. Rave on.

I-66 said...

[looking at the Hot Pockets in my freezer]

As one who has errored and bought (and then subsequently eaten) Lean Pockets in the past, I can say that they do not actually taste the same - at least in the varieties that I have come across accidentally. This doesn't speak to the nutrition involved, or lack thereof, but I'm not a big fan of the taste of the Lean Pocket.

AJ Gentile said...

Hot Pockets are poison. But as a high-end nerd, I am required to consume them. I also have to drink Mountain Dew. If don't, they revoke my status.

Barbara said...

I must be really out of it. I've never eaten a Hot Pocket or a Lean Pocket and I never even heard of Rachel Ray. I tend to eat simple food, none of which is processed, and I basically don't watch TV. Sounds like I'm not missing anything.

ejtakeslife said...

I'm not a fan of the EVOO phenomenon, but what really gets me is $40 a Day with Rachael Ray. Yeah, you can easily spend under forty bucks a day if you tip three percent! Tips are a server's income, Rach.

Oh, and that T-shirt is fabulous!

Hey Pretty said...

The term EVOO makes me wince.

I had a lean pocket for breakfast this morning. For the record, it had 7 grams of fat and 280 calories. It tasted kind of plasticy, but I was regarding it as junk food anyway.

Regarding the two products thing--I think it has something to do with maximizing profits by targeting two distinct audiences.

Gwen said...

FYI...if you go on Weight Watchers and subsequently go out and buy things with the points listed on them because you're'll end up with some lean pockets in your freezer.

I um, have a friend who did that.

They were breakfast lean pockets and she ate both of them for breakfast.

See...those Hot Pocket people are pretty smart. Not only do they cater to the Weight Watchers, but they sell TWICE as many to them because they can eat more of them! At least, that's what my friend says. ; 0