Monday, September 9, 2013

DOUBLE-HEADER – Toilet Paper Goes To Pot AND Buying Foreign Crap!

I thought that might catch your attention. Now that you’re here, I want to gripe about toilet paper first. It sure beat corncobs and last year’s mail-order catalogs when it first came out. Unfortunately, once it got to be popular, the suits at the paper companies started looking for ways to make it cheaper and increase the bottom line. The near uselessness of such products have been the butt of many jokes as the quality continues to go down the drain.

A few years ago, Charmin came out with a type of toilet paper that had Vitamin E and aloe in it. It became hugely popular with those who have hemorrhoids or other sensitivity problems that they wish to put behind them. A couple times, they actually made slight changes that improved the product. However, no perfect product can be left alone. Research and development departments have to make changes just for the sake of convincing the big wigs that they’re doing something. Corporate heads have to make sure that in the end, a higher and higher rate of return passes through to the stock-holder. So, Charmin’s once-excellent product is approaching near uselessness again. Apparently, what extra profit they can’t tweak by reducing quality, they decided to get by decreasing quantity. The last package of their product contains rolls that measure about a half-inch shorter than last week’s supply. I reckon they figure that we don’t have eyes back there, so we won’t notice. Considering how crappy their product is becoming, I guess it’s only fitting where it ends up.

My wife is a bit of an impulse shopper, so anytime something says “new,” it’s liable to end up in her cart. And so it was with an item for the dog that she recently got. It was shaped like a squirrel and looked like one of those things molded from ground rawhide. There was an American flag displayed prominently on the front of the package, and even through her slight cataract, she could see the letters “USA,” so she figured it was safe. When she got it home and I looked at it, the “RUFFWOOD” squirrel by “SMARTPAW” said “materials made in USA.” I knew THAT couldn’t be good, so I looked a little further. Elsewhere, it said that the WOOD FIBER and SYNTHEIC materials in it came from the USA and it was made to replace the sticks that dogs so love. Okay, I now knew that we had a squirrel-shaped piece of chipboard made from American wood fibers and an unspecified synthetic material, NOT a doggy chew. I guess it must have been for playing catch or something. After a little more scrutinizing of the package, I found a line of tiny print ALMOST at the bottom of the printed info that said “Made in China.” After all the poor dogs and cats that have died from eating Chinese pet treats and pet food, we weren’t about to let her play with it. We DID give it to her a few seconds to see her reaction. She looked at us in what appeared to be utter amazement, as if she was wondering if we’d completely lost our marbles.

I just happened to check the “Simply Orange” orange juice in the fridge and it said “produced for Simply Orange Juice Company, Apopka, FL. That sounded suspicious. I went online and found out that they either use straight USA juice or MIX IT with juice from Brazil. You can find out which by looking at the line below the “use by” date. They probably don’t want to bring attention to the fact that SOME of their juice is foreign. REMEMBER FOLKS – if it’s REALLY made in the United States, they normally say so directly. Simply Orange wasn’t telling a lie; they were just trying to avoid the whole issue.

Here’s something different, but related. I looked on the bottom of lean ground beef my wife brought home and in tiny print on the bottom of the package, it said “natural flavors added.” That probably means that it was shot full of salt brine. However, with aspartame now being renamed “Amino Sweet,” and called a “natural” sweetener, only the Lord and the meat packer really know what’s in there! © 2013


Sixbears said...

Grew up in a paper mill town. Most TP is made with the cheapest junk they can use.

However, the really soft stuff is made from the fibers of old growth trees. Some companies have figured out how to come close using recycled paper, but it's still not quite as soft.

A lot of "recycled" paper is just trimmings from other paper products that get thrown in the vat. It's not really recycled unless it says "post consumer." That's where you get weird labels like 70% recycled with at least 10% post consumer.

Gorges Smythe said...

I don't mind that as long as they don't try recycling USED toilet paper, Sixbears. With the "greens," you just never know!

Chickenmom said...

Always gotta check those labels! More than 3/4 of our food and juice comes packaged from China. Always try to buy local produce and then can or freeze it.

Gorges Smythe said...

Most folks have no idea what they eat, Cm!

Sunnybrook Farm said...

Can you imagine if China stopped exporting to the US? Why we would have to produce our own products and hire a whole new work force. It would be horrible for CEOs and politicians.

Gorges Smythe said...

Wouldn't THAT upset the apple-cart, SF!

Scooney Adrift said...

I suppose next with that cheaper toilet paper we will be getting wood splinters! I can see it now, a mirror and tweezers!!!!
Chinese dog food killed a lot of dogs, including ours a few years back.
As far a OJ goes, no telling what we are drinking.

Gorges Smythe said...

I'm not making this up, Scooney; I saw a photo of a VERY old ad a while back that ADVERTISED "no splinters!" Sorry about your dog. I'm sure it was a much-loved member of the family.