This is not food. It is a substitute for food. Sure, it’ll keep you alive, but you’ll be resentful. Why? Because this shit’s making you fat, slothful, addlepated and hypertensive.
You don’t have to be a genius to look at a plate of this oozing goo and know it’s no good for you. Why? Look at it. No, really look at it. What do you see? White flour and a fatty substance that may or may not be a dairy product. Your first thought when someone puts down the plate ought to be, “You bastard! Attempted murder is a felony!” People poisoning cash-laden spouses with arsenic may thicken their plots faster than your dinner host but dead’s dead, and you’ll push up daisies with the same aplomb. From the Stouffer’s Nutrition Facts panel, which I can’t reproduce because I was born before the fucking Photoshop Cut-Off Date:
Serving Size 6 oz
Servings Per Container 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350 Calories From Fat 150
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17 g 26%
Saturated Fat 7 g 35%
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 25 mg 8%
Sodium 920 mg 38%
Total Carbohydrates 34 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g 11%
Sugars 2 g 8%
Protein 15 g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 0%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Let’s be honest about a few things. You know why? Because lying is hard work – and who has the time?
1. I’m not brilliant. The rest of the label reads like that nightmare test I haven’t studied for and OMIGOD I’M NAKED! You’re a grownup. Read it yourself.
2. Nobody but nobody eats 6 oz of this glop and quits, which is why 2 servings come in that box. Six ounces is 3/4 of a cup. Go to your kitchen. Get a one-cup measuring cup. Three-quarters of that is your serving, and you know right away you’re going to eat twice that, aren’t you? Now, that means double your sodium, and that’s 76% of your daily sodium on one plate. Dude. You’re in trouble now.
3. That dietary fiber number means your digestive tract is done for the next 24 hours – unless you’re lactose intolerant, in which case: clear your schedule. Your lower intestine has plans for you!
4. Don’t get me started about what all this starch does to your brain. You get depressed, you eat this crap, then you get more depressed, then you’re buying this by the case and writing love letters to Morrissey. There’s a clue here somewhere.
Why are you doing this to yourself? You’re short on time, you can’t cook, you need some comfort ASAP or maybe it never occurred to you that Corporate America doesn’t love you like Mom. Note: if Mom’s making this crap for you, it might be a hint that Mom wants you the hell OUT.
You: Okay! I won’t eat the Stouffer’s! Ya happy?
Tata: Yeah yeah – NO.
You can find recipes for macaroni and cheese – which I am not now nor will I ever refer to by its dumb nickname – just about anywhere, both good and bad, but they are mostly bad. Answers.com, where I never go for recipes, offers this, which once again will keep you alive until it kills you. The Food Network lists 92 recipes; nutritionist Ellie Krieger’s includes lowfat cheeses and pureed winter squash, but that’s not much of an improvement over our boxed oozing goo. (Frankly, I value my arteries too much to even look at Paula Deen’s recipe.) Cooking.com gives us some better possibilities with the inclusion of beans, eggplant or mushrooms. America’s Test Kitchen, which I love with a fiery passion, challenges us wth a classic, a lighter version of macaroni and cheese, and one with ham and peas.
Macaroni and cheese was invented during the Depression to feed large families for virtually no money, with cheap, relatively plentiful ingredients until better was available. In 2007, not only are you not starving but you would have to be deaf, dumb, blind, marooned on a desert island and locked in your parents’ basement to not know that your body will function better with whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables (frozen, in a pinch) and good quality protein sources. Moreover, you will always feel and think better when you prepare your own food and control the sodium content. I know we all take shortcuts, but boxed macaroni and cheese is a shortcut through the backyard of that neighbor with a pack of rottweilers.
Look, I grasp down to the soles of my Keds that sometimes you want to eat this crap and not think. You want the gooey, creamy, cheesy, thoughtless, artery-clogging goodness that reminds you of a better day, with a crunchy crust. And I respect that blue moon impulse in people who know better and will eat some stir-fried tofu tomorrow, but what is driving me fucking round the twist is parents shoving the detestable Kraft Easy Mac at their defenseless children instead of real food. Honest to Christ, it’s not, and parents are doing their children no favors here. I’m not even going to link to that shit. You can surf the net for it or drag yourself to your grocery store, where you can find the boxes you desire by following the trail of hyperactive fat children with glazed expressions and behavior problems.
Look, it’s just not that hard. Don’t eat this evil crap and don’t feed it to children.