9/17/10

Benedict Peas - A vegeteble betrayal.

Here's an ad from Picture Post magazine, which you will recall is an English magazine. This ad is from 1948, and wants us to buy canned peas. Ugh. I frikkin hate peas. They smell like underpants and each one is a little plastic bag of mush that bursts when you bite it, spewing it's load of fecal paste all over your tongue. But, this was England shortly after WWII, and people were probably thankful for what they could get.

Strangely, the label seems a little proud and a little ashamed of the word "processed". They handle the text in that lawyer-ized "we don't want to say 'processed' but the law says we have to" kind of way by making it small and tucking it up above "peas". They also make it the same length as the word "peas", which helps it to go unnoticed, because it doesn't jump out at you the way it would if it were a different length. In America, we'd just stick "processed" down below, or better yet, round the back of the can where you're more likely to read it after you've payed for them.

It's not like "processed" means anything. It could just mean the peas have been chosen for uniform size, and cleaned of stems and other unwanted materials. But people expect their food to seem like they're eating it right out of the ground, even when it's spent a few weeks in a can on a shelf. People are unreasonable.

My dad liked peas. He'd have them as an evening snack while watching TV. No bowl or heat required. He's crack open a can of peas and eat them with a fork, right out of the can, watching M*A*S*H. Yep. Dad was in the army. My guess is this is where he learned to stomach canned peas under the least appealing conditions.

The nutritional claims made in the ad are not convincing to me. I'd rather eat four times the volume in mashed potatoes. I'd rather eat seven times the peas' volume in carrots. Make me eat peas and you'll get three times the peas amount of vomit on your table. Put me through a war and half starve me for a few years and I may sing a different tune, but for now, that's my decision.

3 comments:

Sue said...

NO vegetable should come out of a can. EVER! (That's not a slight on your dad. Mr. Are-Go must have had some other great qualities).
Those kids do look really happy for the vat-o-peas to come to the table. Maybe now they're distracted from the pile of braised poo on their plates!! Or maybe it's mom's ElastiGirl arms. She probably could have served them from the kitchen.

Dave Pryor said...

In London, they still serve peas with almost everything - especially fish and chips. I seem to get them served to me about 10 times per UK trip.

Now, I'm not a big fan of peas, but if you get the very green ones, they are boarderline tolerable. Almost good.

Peter Sauer said...

I have a pen knife, knife and file with "benedict better quality peas" on the front,anyone give me more information on this pen knife? 5cm x 2cm

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