03 June 2007

The Kraft Effect

I think I may have made a major sociological break through over dinner. I was looking in my pantry, wondering what I should have: the Ramen or the Mac and Cheese. Suddenly, I had flashbacks of my childhood (granted, it wasn't that long ago) and all of the great foods: Mac and Cheese, Ramen noodles, Pop Tarts, cereal, Chewy granola bars, chicken tenders, and the like.

Then I looked around my kitchen, and oh crap, it's the same food. But just last year, I was dinning on the finest dinning hall foods (ok, most college kids can't say this): Philly cheese steak, smoothies, cheese cake, chili, mixed field green salads, and wonderful sandwiches. And through my last two years of high school, I had stepped away from my childhood favorites, developing a taste for vegetables, cheeses, and things that don't come out of a box. What happened?

The Kraft Effect.

The Kraft Effect can be depicted quite simply by a negative quadratic equation: as you move from childhood to a "zero year", your choice in food becomes more diverse. After the zero year, you begin to regress, with your food choices becoming more limited.

The reasons for the trend towards zero year is quite obvious, with the brain becoming more mature and more open minded, willing to try new foods. But what about as we move away from the zero year? I propose the following causes:
  1. Time - College/graduate students simply don't have the time to make anything more complicated than Easy Mac. The time buying the ingredients, cooking, and cleaning up? Ha. We have more important things. Like papers. And Facebook.
  2. Effort - What student wants to add more to his plate? Now your telling me that being in college isn't enough, but we have to learn to cook and clean as well? Ha.*
  3. Money - Easy Mac? Cheap. Store-brand Easy Mac? Cheaper. Ramen? Cheapest. Because, like with time, we have more important things to use money for, such as textbooks. And concert tickets.
  4. Taste - Seriously, I'm a little disturbed that store-brand Easy Mac tastes that good. Any cheese-sauce product that doesn't even require milk cannot possibly be healthy. But, oh is it addictive. Kinda like uncooked Ramen.
Yes, I expect that this new principle may help the world understand the student better. Of course, this is mostly just a theory. No scientist has dared trek into the hazardous native environment of the college student, and I expect that they won't for quite some time.

*This factor also explains why the undistinguished palate is only present in the dorms/apartments of students. You will observe that at restaurants, students avoid simple noodle/pasta dishes at all costs.

Rock on.

1 comment:

John said...

For me it was frozen burritos. When I'm in an adventurous mood, I coat them with shredded cheddar. But they were the perfect college food, and at 31, are turning into the perfect seminary food.