Is Heinz’s New Ketchup and Portable Packets Really Better?

Today (Feb 4), the H.J. Heinz Ketchup Co. introduced a more user-friendly ketchup package that isn’t so messy (press release and graphics). In it, Heinz will also put healthier ketchup made from better ingredients, and in three times the amount per new packet compared to the current (old) one. This packaging change is the first Heinz has made in 42 years, though the new packets will appear along side the old packets, not replace them, for those people who just won’t change. Smart move! However, I question if the new ketchup and packaging will really make things better for the consumer for reasons of waste and larger packet size. But let’s get the deal first for context to compare.

New package
Traditionally, Heinz’ ketchup packets have been those tear at the tip packets that can get a little messy pending your usage situation and level of motor skills. Now, it looks like a bottle-shaped jam packet, which looks more like branding than revolutionary. You can lift up one corner to dip when eating in a car, or you can open it at the tip and squeeze out the ketchup. The latter isn’t common to jam but you don’t squeeze your jam to dip, either. Or at least most people I know don’t. As for performance, please have a look at the news summary and Popular Mechanics test videos below.

I know, Popular Mechanics test. Pretty rad!

Better ingredients
In March, Heinz’ ketchup will be made from sugar instead of high fructose and corn sweetener. So that’s what they’ve been putting in the stuff for 40+ years, eh? High fructose and corn sweetener. Well, good on Heinz cause there’s no sense crying about spilled ketchup now. In the summer, the product, called Simply Heinz Tomato Ketchup, will also contain 15% less sodium than currently. Very good, but this will be a bit like changing the taste of Coke, as far as I’m concerned. We’ll see how things go and if they’ll switch back or make both versions, current and new, available. If so, I’d recommend labeling the current version Less Healthy Heinz Tomato Ketchup (to be kind). That should keep a few people from using it.

.

BUT WAIT A MINUTE!!!

The changes made by Heinz are good to some extent, but they seemed to have forgotten about a few other issues.

Excess ketchup waste caused by larger volume packets
People often hand out more ketchup packets than one needs, in part because the packets are small. I make it a point to give back the unused packets, as unsanitary as that might seem to some. But if the new packages are 3X as large, even if given out 1 packet per customer unless more is asked for, there’s going to be more waste because any opened packet has 3X the potential amount of ketchup to be wasted. I only consume two of the current packages at a time, for example, so I’d be wasting 1/3 of the new packet if I get it every time out. Overall, it’s good for Heinz’s bottom line cause they make money on packets sold, not packets consumed, and have no penalties on food and packaging of packets thrown away.

New packaging waste not environmentally friendly
As far as anyone can tell, the new packaging is not environmentally friendly. There was not any such word on the Heinz press release, and the Christian Science Monitor reports no such indication, either, with a call to Heinz not returned. That’s terribly disappointing for a company with an environmental section on their website. Their annual report (5.8 MB PDF) talks a lot about 20% solid waste reduction, but that’s not in the packaging. It’s all plant reductions and potential outcomes of awareness sessions for employees. In other words, if environmental sustainability were sweetness, Heinz is still on the high fructose corn sweetener route, and not sugar. The current packaging is not recyclable, by the way, and the rigid new packaging is only potentially more damaging, even if a tad smaller in overall volume and weight than 3 of the old packets.

Excess waste from more personalized packaging
With the new packaging being more portable, each person could have his/her own packet to dip in, which may not have been done previously. That is, you and your friends could have just had a few mounds  of ketchup for a half a dozen of you to dip your fries (or chips) in before. Now, you each might well just get your own packet, each wasting a bit of ketchup rather than a bit left over in two mounds, not to mention more packages wasted.

Excess ketchup not good for the diet
Given more ketchup in a packet, people will just tend to eat more of it, especially if they think about it as being healthier than before. Then there will be the crowd who won’t let any food go to waste unless they have to. For them, a little excess ketchup is not worthy to discard, so they will also consume more ketchup. Sure, the ingredient improvements are good, but will it be a net benefit? Sugar isn’t exactly good in excess, even if better than high fructose corn sweetener. As for the 15% reduction in sodium, well, if you consume 15% more ketchup because you think it’s healthier or eat more due to the larger packets, you just negated that. You do worst eating greater than 15% more. Now, how many do you think will only eat 15% more?

.

So is there a NET improvement with the new Heinz ketchup and packet?

Not in my opinion. At least not what I’ve learned from it.

  • More food waste
  • As much solid waste or more
  • Solid waste is potentially more environmentally damaging
  • People consuming more ketchup that could easily negate ingredient improvements
  • Biased corporate spin to only look at the good side of something when the bad side is potentially greater

.

What do you think?

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.7

.

Share/Bookmark

Video and Lyrics for Taylor Swift’s Monologue Song on SNL

On the November 7 (or 8th pending time zone) edition of Saturday Night Live, Taylor Swift was host and did a hilarious song trashing some people, gossiping and such, but all with class like the first class act that she was. The Internet has been buzzing about it for a couple of weeks now. However, a lot of that buzz is self-serving people trying to get attention by hijacking search results for the video and lyrics. Like with the Kanye West incident, all kinds of people create videos about this event, call and label them with words like “Taylor, Swift, SNL, Monologue, Song, Lyrics” and such, only to put something where they put themselves on camera and talk about something. Sometimes, it’s not even about the event the video is supposed to be!

Wow! Aren’t those people desperate for “fame”!

Well, they’re getting hate, not fame. Too bad they’re too stupid to know it.

But some good and kind souls have put up actual video of the event and here is one below, after several replacements that were victims of NBC and Universal Studios copyright claims. Suckers! They never learn, do they, that they can’t win these wars? I’ve added the lyrics below the video.

I absolutely loved the song and performance by Taylor. That goes for both the acting, like when she’s looking around for Kanye, and singing. You’ve just got to watch it if you haven’t seen it. The video isn’t the greatest quality, but it’s what you want to see. Finding another version is probably harder than you think, but if you can, please leave a link.

Taylor’s complete a first class act, and all I’ve got to say to her about this performance is YEAH! YOU GO GIRL!!!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.6

Share/Bookmark

(Talking)
Whenever I’m feeling strong emotions about something like this
I usually write a song about it
So this is what I came up with
It’s called “Monologue Song”
In parentheses (“La La La”)

(Singing)
I like glitter and sparkly dresses
But I’m not gonna talk about that
In my monologue
I like baking and things that smell like Winter
But I’m not gonna talk about that
In my monologue
(La la la)
(La la la)

I like writing songs about douche bags who cheat on me
But I’m not gonna say that
In my monologue
I like writing their names in songs so they’re ashamed to go in public
But I’m not gonna say that
In my monologue
(La la)
(La la la la la)
This is my musical monologue

You might think I’d bring up Joe (Jonas) that guy who broke up with me on the phone
But I’m not going to mention him
In my monologue
Hey Joe! I’m doing real well tonight I’m hosting SNL
But I’m not going to brag about that
In my monologue
(La la la)
(Ha ha ha)
(Ha ha ha Ha ha ha)
(La la la)

And if you’re wondering if I might be dating the werewolf from Twilight
(*Waves*, *Mouths “Hi Taylor”*, *Blows him a Kiss*, and *Winks*)
I’m not gonna comment on that
In my monologue
(La la)
(La la la la la)
This is my musical monologue

You might be expecting me to say
Something bad about Kanye
And how he ran up on the stage
And ruined my VMA monologue
(*Sigh*)
But there’s nothing more to say
‘Cause everything’s okay
I got security lining the stage
In my SNL monologue
(La la)
(La la la la la)

This is my SNL monologue
(La la)
(La la la la la)
That was my SNL monologue

We have a great show
Kanye West is not here
So stick around
We’ll be right back

Take Dr Helen Fisher’s Why Him/Why Her Personality Test for Love

Helen Fisher

Dr Helen Fisher

I have converted the scientific test from Dr Helen Fisher‘s absolutely fascinating book, Why Him? Why Her? Finding Real Love by Understanding Your Personality Type, into a text format you can use in any place where you can edit text, whether a word processor or Facebook Note. This very scientific test will give you a lot of insight into the nature of your personality, who you fall for and why, and you can decide whether that’s what you’re looking for because wanting and doing aren’t necessarily the same thing. While designed to be used for singles looking for love, I’m sure it would be just as interesting for couples to do it rather than just singles. Dr Fisher has tested outcomes against existing couples to verify the theory. I would bet the outcomes couples get would make for an interesting discussion. That’s discussion, not argument!

To get that insight, you’ll need to do Dr Fisher’s test first, then click here to get an interpretation of results. This test is also the core test used on the very successful match-making site, Chemistry.com, that has been the buzz of that scene for a few years now with over 7 million people tested.

Continue reading

Watch Out for Chinese English Mania!

Jay Walker

Jay Walker

Here’s an attitude I’ve seen, heard and which I know goes on a lot more often than I’ve ever heard it. It will sound stereotypical, but you know, it exists enough to be stereotyped, so I’m not going to apologize for it. Just try not to take it personally even though it’s written in second person for effect. Aside from the attitude, everything here applies to me just as much as any other native English speaker (or those to whom English is pretty much a first language now).

You’re going to be going out in the work force. You don’t have the best grades, but so what? That girl or guy from China, India or some other place where English is not the native language, who has the best mark won’t beat you for the job. After all, you’ve got them on the English.

Or maybe that’s only a few of them that have better marks than you and sufficient, if not better English, too. There are plenty of other jobs and similar people you’ve got an advantage on because English is your native tongue.

Well, get ready to suck that up, or at least tell your children to do so!

In the 4.567 minute TED.com talk below, Jay Walker talks about how the world is becoming obsessed with English because it is the language of opportunity.

Specifically, I want to draw attention to where he tells how it is now required by law in China that you start English in grade 3!

Think about that for a few seconds.

Required by law in China.

Have you any idea how many people that involves year in and year out? Then they have it through to high school where 25% of their marks is based on their English in the Gaokao (read “gow cow”). Is 25% of your marks based on English that you’ll work as hard to be as good at it as they will be? Don’t forget how competitive their school systems are, too! 80 million high school students have already taken it. I’ll let you do the math on what portion or multiple that is of the American and Canadian populations, respectively. That’s 80 million in the past few years you’re suddenly now up against which you didn’t see coming. And how many more to follow in just another decade?

And did you hear what they were screaming in learning their English?

I don’t want to let my parents down.
I don’t ever want to let my country down.
Most importantly …
I don’t want to let myself down.
Perfect! I want to speak perfect English!
I want to change my life!

Did you realize how reaffirming those sentences were? Do you say those things to yourself that frequently?

Think about something else for a few seconds.

You know those kids who’s at the top of the class in math and science cause they studied harder than you? Yes, I said studied harder. Not are more gifted or are naturally that way because they were Chinese, Japanese, Asian and such, but because they studied harder. Well, they can do the same to you in English!

Even the potential jobs you now have teaching English as a Second Language abroad, they’ll take those, too! I didn’t recall a Caucasian speaker shouting out those phrases in Jay’s video. In fact, knowing the average public grade reading level in North America to be about grade 9, I would consider betting they’ll be teaching you English to be a wise investment!

What will do you then? Your laurels will have soiled and rotted from having been rested on under your ass so long you won’t even be able to give them away!

Now, you might ask, what will English from grade 3 do for someone? You still had an 8 year head start from birth of hearing and learning and speaking (for fewer but very important developmental years).

Well, I came to Canada at the age of 8, in grade 3, knowing no English. A teacher had the audacity to fail me for fear my English wouldn’t develop quickly enough despite me having the best report card that year! Today, you’d never know I was Asian from how I talk or write. And let’s just say if anybody ever makes a passing comment their English is better than mine probably because English wasn’t my first language, I’ll make sure they know it’s inferior, preferably in front of others. I might be wrong one day, but I know how much the odds are stacked with me given the many test scores, awards and other English related accolades I have to my name.

Worse, there is bad news about all this. I’m nothing special. But many among all those Chinese students now required to take English by law will be many!

I got this way with my English working a little harder at it, more methodically at it, just like most non-native English speakers have to in learning English. For all the racial comments I encountered in my youth, the ones that bothered me most were probably intended as compliments. Some people thought I was naturally gifted in school, especially math and science, because I was Asian. It was as if I didn’t have to work for it. Of course, by that train of thought, I was also geeky because it was “natural” to me.

But for the record, I realized in my adolescence that I wasn’t naturally gifted at anything. I accepted that and took on life with the attitude I was going to have to work for everything. I was going to have to earn everything in my life. And you know what?

I still think that way!

And I wouldn’t want it any other way!

So get ready for the Chinese English mania, with the rest of the world not far behind them!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 5.7

Share/Save/Bookmark

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type of Your Blog or Site Name

I owe the owner of the blog Life Lessons: An Owner’s Guide for the subject of this post regarding the TypeAlyzer website. The site takes your English or Swedish blog or website URL and churns out some information about your Myers-Briggs personality type, among other things, based on what it can sample of text on your blog. I don’t know how much I’d trust its sampling, but that’s OK. This is for fun.

typealyzer

My post here adds some information which you might find useful after you try your site name on TypeAlyzer because it is rather short on follow up information. You might also want to try some of the real tests to which it refers and get something more real with more depth and meaning for yourself, if you are not familiar with the Myers-Briggs theory. I’m a Myers-Briggs fiend because it changed my life, allowing me to make sense of people… though it’s not a simple theory to practice as I do since people are not easy. Otherwise, people wouldn’t need this test or psychology.

The site is for fun. What I want to introduce you to, if you don’t know it, is for real.

When you enter a site name, the site returns a four letter personality code. Click here to go to the Personality Page site and click on the letter combination among 16 there, and links on those pages to find out more about the personality type. You can get learning styles, loving styles, best career choices and other things. Just remember, this is no bogus fun stuff. Myers-Briggs has been taken by tens or more of millions of people in the world over the years. It’s quite often used as a human resource tool in professional situations.

If you want to give Myers-Briggs a try, use this Human Metrics version.

So what are you and how did you match up with your real results?

My Results

http://digitalcitizen.ca returns an ISTJ, the Duty Fulfiller.

The responsible and hardworking type. They are especially attuned to the details of life and are careful about getting the facts right. Conservative by nature they are often reluctant to take any risks whatsoever.  The Duty Fulfillers are happy to be let alone and to be able to work in their own pace. They know what they have to do and how to do it.

That’s almost accurate… for my blogging. I blog daily like it is a duty, and out of altruism like it is my duty to do my part to help the world in this little way. However, this is a concepts blog, for the most part. It’s all about ideas, like I am, which is iNtuitive (N) instead of Sensing (S). I am an ENFJ, the Giver (sound like Duty Fulfiller in some ways to you?) bordering on ENTJ, the Executives or Field Commander. Look at the strong opinions here and you’ll see why I have an ENTJ streak in me. I’m borderline T and F for scores on the Myers-Briggs Test.

The Love Type answer returns the same ISTJ result. I definitely do not love like a duty fulfiller, though, I can guarantee you that!

In the Sports Type, I am a Guardian, supposedly.

“Sports teach us loyalty, discipline and teamwork!”

The Guardians are sensible, down-to-earth people and the true stabilizers of society. They believe that in the long run loyalty, discipline and teamwork get the job done right. They are in a way the most social of all types and sees sports as a great opportunity to bond with friends and family. They value customs and traditions strongly and love flag waving, mascots and memorial ceremonies of any sort. They gravitate towards family-friendly team sports with long traditions such as baseball. They´re always on the look-out for decent fun to share with their loved ones.

Sports of preference:
Football, Baseball, Basketball and any other sport that lets you spend quality time with your family and friends.

Not very good, I’m afraid. I’m a marathon runner. I sometimes watch football but only because it requires so little attention I can multitask in life. I would not watch sports to be spending “quality time” with family and friends unless they wanted to, not me.

Finally, for the Archetype or generic persona, the result says

Motivation: Belonging

Desire to be yourself and find out about the world

Archetypes:
The Orphan – “all men and women are created equal”
Lover – “I only have eyes for you”
Jester – “If I can´t dance, I don´t want to be part of your revolution”.

Not good, but not bad. Of course, we all want some sort of belonging. I blog solo, though. I don’t visit too many other blogs and interact because I know what I want to read and I don’t feel a need to interact that much online. I prefer face time over Facebook, let’s just say.

Any comments?