Monday, November 17, 2008

Another negative indicator 

There is a lot of bad news out there which, taken collectively, can be downright scary. I connect dots and don't like what I see, but perhaps I am overly pessimistic. That said, I would think even the most optimistic might be shaken by this disturbing piece of news.

Through war and recession, Americans have turned to the glistening canned product from Hormel as a way to save money while still putting something that resembles meat on the table. Now, in a sign of the times, it is happening again, and Hormel is cranking out as much Spam as its workers can produce.

In a factory that abuts Interstate 90, two shifts of workers have been making Spam seven days a week since July, and they have been told that the relentless work schedule will continue indefinitely.

Spam, a gelatinous 12-ounce rectangle of spiced ham and pork, may be among the world’s most maligned foods, dismissed as inedible by food elites and skewered by comedians who have offered smart-alecky theories on its name (one G-rated example: Something Posing As Meat).

But these days, consumers are rediscovering relatively cheap foods, Spam among them. A 12-ounce can of Spam, marketed as “Crazy Tasty,” costs about $2.40. “People are realizing it’s not that bad a product,” said Dan Johnson, 55, who operates a 70-foot-high Spam oven.

I have several reactions to this. First, things must be worse than reported if SPAM is becoming popular. There might be more people serving Spam at their tables, but I think this is an indication that more people are stockpiling. Also, am I the only one to find the concept of a 70-foot high Spam oven unsettling? Finally, I think Hormel has found a new tag line courtesy of Mr. Johnson. "SPAM: Not that bad a product."


By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Mon Nov 17, 04:54:00 PM:

I wonder how much Spam we export?  

By Blogger Donna B., at Mon Nov 17, 07:05:00 PM:

I love Spam. Fried. For breakfast :-)

Seriously, it makes a great fried rice with pineapple chunks and green onions.

I also like Ramen, so maybe my opinion on food is worthless.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Nov 17, 09:03:00 PM:

How about this tag line?
Spam, when you don't want your ass in the can.

On second thought.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Mon Nov 17, 09:58:00 PM:

People may be buying Spam in some atavistic, symbolic gesture, even as they sign up for a new calling plan.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Nov 17, 11:33:00 PM:

Canned Meat in a Coal Mine -- I like it.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Tue Nov 18, 12:38:00 AM:

Spam is going thru quite a product blitz too. We got Spam fridge tupperware keepers, and a Spam bank for the kids at the last one. And the Bacon flavored Spam, yum, yum :)  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Nov 18, 06:37:00 AM:

Maybe this is the new, ironic hipster trend, along with the bowling shirts and the Pabst Blue Ribbon.

God, how I hate that irony has become the moron's substitute for wit.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Nov 18, 02:31:00 PM:

Maybe people are stockpiling Spam for the same reason they are stockpiling handguns: the election.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Nov 18, 04:41:00 PM:

My brother still has a closet full of MRE type food he got from some survivalist outfit before Y2K. I hope this turns out similarly.  

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