Friday, February 2, 2007

Important Life Lesson: Don't Take Canned Food Too Seriously

By Chuck McKay

As I sat down to enjoy a can of Hormel Chili with Beans, a few thoughts meandered through my brain.

1. It’s a little sad to have nothing better to read during breakfast than the back of a chili can.
2. Hormel is taking itself too seriously.

The second thought arrived as I noticed the label urging me to visit Hormel’s website, as if I should sacrifice some part of my busy schedule to explore whatever life-altering experiences were available at

Don’t open up a new explorer window yet; I’ll save you some time. If you click on the site's “Knowledge” link, you can learn fascinating stuff. For example, they have information about every kind of egg you can imagine.

“Ostrich eggs are hard to find,” they observe astutely, “but one egg goes a long way.” In fact, one ostrich egg equals about 20 to 24 chicken eggs.

“One egg can be made into several large omelets or it can be scrambled.”

I don’t know about you, but if I get hold of an ostrich egg, I’ll do everything in my power to let the sucker hatch. Then, I would have a pet ostrich named Sven. I would be the envy of the neighborhood. Think of the gas I could save riding around on that thing. Then I would have a terrific surprise for my family at Thanksgiving. Did Hormel think of this? Of course not.

Recipes are the main attraction at You can browse and search thousands of them. Under “appetizers” you can find out how to make Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts. Imagine serving those at your Super Bowl party.

You can also find various chili recipes. If you are the kind of person who is inspired to take chili advice from Hormel after consuming one of their products, you deserve to eat whatever you get.
Let’s face it; Hormel chili is about as spicy and flavorful as Kleenex. Plus, each can contains (no exaggeration) 102 percent of your recommended daily allowance of sodium. From looking at the ingredients list, I can’t tell where all that salt comes from, other than perhaps the ingredient listed as “flavoring.”

If you want a real chili recipe, contact me, and I’ll share the recipe for my Seventeen-Alarm, Imaginary Neighborhood Chili-Cookoff Honorable Mention-Winning Chili of Doom, which includes jalapeno peppers, cilantro, diesel fuel, and tons of garlic.

Speaking of spices, you probably didn’t know that Hormel is the company responsible for SPAM. The official SPAM website, does not take itself seriously at all. Even the Hormel people know better than to take SPAM seriously. The site offers a great deal of cheesy fun and is certainly worth a couple of minutes if you’re bored. It also answers the age-old questions, “What is SPAM?” (compressed animal organs with “flavoring”) and “Who would actually eat it?” (the maniacally insane).

The Hormel website also offers recent Hormel press releases, where I learned about their new “brand unification campaign,” which basically means they’re trying to make all their packages look more alike. “The unified packaging effort. . . alerts consumers about the expansive Hormel product line in both refrigerated and grocery products, while providing a contemporary look and feel for the brand.”

Notice the word “alerts.” The Hormel label made me “alert” enough to fall asleep face-first into my bowl.



Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jodi Renshaw said...

The funniest part is that you actually visited!