I picked up this emergency kraut shot on a recent trip to Ohio. As a lover of sauerkraut, I couldn't help but buy this fifty cent oddity. It also made me nostalgic for the tiny packets of rum I once bought in Cuba. Yes, candy is no longer the only thing available in a size that is fun.
I call it an oddity because this item represents an aberration in the way we humans have historically handled our food. In addition to the Sphinx and the Great Wall of China, it seems one of our lasting gifts to the planet will be butt-loads of plastic.
Things didn't used to come in things. If you bought a potato, you got a potato. Now, when you buy a potato at a supermarket, you can get it shrink wrapped in plastic for easy microwaving. You might put a few such potatoes into one of the thin plastic bags always vailable in the produce department. Then, to carry your plastic bag of plastic wrapped potatoes home, you'll probably put it in another plastic bag.
Same goes for water. Instead of drawing it from a well or getting it for free from the bountiful tap in your kitchen, we're now buying it cloaked in a byproduct of the petroleum industry: yes, plastic. It looks like Mr. McGuire was right.
And we're not only buying more things in packaging; we're buying smaller portions of them in even more packaging, as evidenced by my purchase of this Frank's Quality Kraut Single.
If you are foolish enough to get suckered into buying bottled water, at least think about how much more plastic is required to contain several single serving bottles than a five gallon bubbler. Now think about how much plastic it takes to wrap each and every Frank's Quality Kraut Single. Now remember that plastic doesn't biodegrade. Now stop thinking about escaping to colonize the moon.
In contrast to the single, my homemade kraut is a deep, healthy pink, and it sparkles. You can taste, and feel, that you're eating something alive. We've been making sauerkraut for thousands of years as a way to preserve cabbage and provide a host for healthful bacteria. So why additionally preserve sauerkraut by sealing it in a ketchup packet after killing the bacteria by cooking it and adding sodium benzoate?
The only thing I can come up with is that families that give out raisins want to spice things up this Halloween.