I have recently been concerned with the cost of spinach.
I like spinach but I find that I must always buy at least three bags to meet my appetite for one meal. Greed is not the issue. However devalue, or ‘shrinkage’ during the preparation process. I was so disappointed by the rate of shrinkage in a particular brand of spinach that I resorted to my own research to find some conclusive results to this problem. The results were startling; it made buying a pack of kettle chips feel like a poor investment in air. Some spinach seems to shrink to less than 1/3 of its previous mass. An outrage.
I should state however that my suffering reached an equilibrium as I was eating spinach and bulgur wheat (a meal fit for a king).For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bulgur wheat, you will be happy to know that it responds in a complementary way to spinach, creating a growth when boiled with water, sometimes up to 3X if you buy the coarse variety. The air is trapped, giving the impression of gaining a greater quality of food than at the time of purchase. I’ve decided that it is the perception that feeds my stomach as much as the reality.
I’m reminded of a terrible film that I once saw, where the main character retells the story of two outlaws who steal a ride on one of those slow moving trains that a multitude of unmanned wagons trailing behind. Well, these two jumped onto the back and hastily forced the door of the first available carriage and quickly shut it behind them again. It was the freezer compartment. As their predicament dawned on them, they attempted to force the lock, but to no avail, they looked for anything that could be used for warm, but again to no avail, so they resigned themselves to long and painful death which awaited them.
When the train reached its final destination, the guard unlocked the door and looked inside and saw two dead corpses. A forensic report later proved that they had frozen to death. This fact surprised the guard as he hadn’t engaged the freezer system; in fact the system was such that a temperature below that of 22 degrees Celsius could not be achieved as the freezer system couldn’t operate whilst the train was in transit.
Well, despite all the continuity floors in that story it does make me feel the same can be said regarding bulgur and spinach… tenuous?
At least with spinach there’s a balance, you can eat bulgur, automatic cars however leave you high and dry. They cost more money to buy than manuals; because they’re not ‘standard,’ but because they operate on marginally more complicated systems they have a greater tendency to go wrong. Then there’s the devaluation. I’m not even going to talk about white trainers; you know the ones that are displayed in shop windows with the cellophane still tightly wrapped around them?
This article was written in 2011 and as such is written in the context of the social and political conditions of the time