Where’s The Beef?

If a leprechaun offered me a handful of wishes tomorrow on St. Patty’s Day, after the millions of dollars and a full head of hair I would have to ask the little fellow to make food look like it does in advertised photographs!

We all run into this, but I wonder how many people ponder the daily real life examples of a scene in the 1993 movie FALLING DOWN. In this particular scene, Michael Douglas’ character slips further into a nervous breakdown when his fast food meal looks like a pathetic shadow of its photographed counterpart above the cashier.

SO true!

When was the last time you unwrapped your favorite food item and found it to look ANYTHING like it does in the picture on the menu, wrapper, or box? The meat never looks as juicy, the bun never as firm, the veggies never as colorful or crisp.

I bought my kids an ice cream treat last summer and they sat there starring in shock and disgust at the shrunken, pale, and melting oddity in my hand.

“What IS that,” they asked in unison. “Um…it’s a strawberry sensation or something.”

“Then why is it yellow?”

How do you answer a question like THAT? Even a 4-year-old knows he’s being ripped off when his strawberry sensation is YELLOW, for goodness sakes.

This doesn’t just happen at fast food joints and ice cream stands. How many times have you ordered something from a restaurant because the picture looks so darned good? You order the Cadillac of steaks and end up with beat up Oldsmobile. The French fries droop and the salad looks like it sat outside overnight. Maybe it’s my fault for eating at restaurants that tempt you with photographs instead of reputation. (Imagine a 5 star restaurant with pictures of the filet mignon or lobster!) But hey, I have 5 kids and even a pancake house adventure adds up almost to a roundtrip ticket to Europe.

What I find interesting is that with all the lawsuits out there, none have managed to kill this seemingly blatant untruth in advertising. So don’t expect changes anytime soon. My advice? Stick with the chicken nuggets. They are one of the few choices that look like the picture.