Here’s my final Lunchables edition of “Why is that a thing?”. I recorded it over three different sessions using Audacity. First, my own track, then I clipped it in a second track that I recorded separately with my kids. Then I compressed the two and went back and laid down a third track with a music bed of poor guitar. This actually took less time than I had anticipated, partly because I was able to do the speaking tracks in two long pieces instead of having to chop them up. I was happy with the way it came out, although I don’t love my voice and I hope I don’t sound too condescending. I went off script because I felt like my script was too preachy and I wanted to keep the whole thing a little lighter. I found that by keeping the script open in front of me, I was able to grab some facts as I went along, but it sounded more conversational than if I was reading it. I left the original script in this post so you can see how different the final version ended up being.
Radio Show Poster
Poster for the radio show – built on Picadilo after a failed attempt to use Fontstruct which apparently only gives you limited amounts of options to manipulate text unless you pay for the more advanced programs.
(NOTE FROM MARCH 31: THEY TOOK PICADILO DOWN!! I’M SO BUMMED!!!)
Here’s what I came up with. I can add all the details about when to listen and call letters, etc….
Finally got a computer working – Im getting better at manipulating audacity although at some point in the past I figured out how to fade sounds at the beginning and end of tracks and now I can’t remember how I did it. Thats why this one ends somewhat abruptly. Thanks to Frank and Jackie for helping me.
Radio Show Script
So I want to know why Lunchables are still a thing. Yes, I get that everybody’s running around like crazy and that aprents barely have time to get their own lunch together let alone their kids lunches. But can’t we do better than a pre-packaged, overpriced, artificial, unhealthy pile of crap that is so small it would barely satisfy a fifth grader. Is that really the best we can do?
(sounds of a lunchroom at school – kids talking, eating)
If you don’t know what Lunchables are, they are pre-packaged little snacks-slash-meals that include the tiniest bit of food – a couple crackers, some slices of meat, a tiny dessert – one or two cookies, for example. Kind of like a TV dinner for little kids. Cost at Pathmark (my grocery store of choice) – 2 dollars and 19 cents. So why do I hate Lunchables?
Let’s take a look at what’s actually in there.
(sound of plastic being ripped off package)
I looked at two of them. The first was a ham and cheddar. For this so-called meal, you get six tiny slices of ham – each one a little larger than a fifty cent piece. There are six Ritz-like crackers , a chunk of cheese and two cookies. I don’t know any middle-school kid that thinks that’s enough for lunch – maybe a snack but that’s about it. And don’t forget, you’re paying more than 2 bucks for this.
Now, by way of comparison, Pathmark you can get 120 crackers for just thirty cents more. (old school cash register sound)
A whole bag of cookies – 54 of them – costs just 20 cents more. (old school cash register sound)
A half a pound of ham and cheese cost about seven bucks – not on sale. (old school cash register sound)
Rough math shows that you could get all of that for the same price as maybe four or five Lunchables. That’s a ton more food if you’re buying everything separately. A loaf of bread and jars of peanut butter and jelly end up costing about as much as =three= Lunchables. But some people say they just don’t have time to make their kid something decent to eat. Do you know how much time it takes to make a PB and J? Really? I did it in less than one minute. Less than one minute! You don’t have one minute to give your kid something healthy as opposed to a Lunchable? Throw in a banana and you’re father of the year! And look what’s in this thing! (mix in some music) 13 grams of sugar! More sodium than instant pudding! As much saturated fat as a tablespoon of butter! In this little tiny package, there’s more than 60 ingredients – some of them you can’t even pronounce. And that’s not the worst of it! There’s also something called Lunchables Uploaded. If it’s possible, it has even =less= nutrition than the original Lunchable. Instead of ham and cheese, you get – wait for it – chips, salsa and processed nacho cheese. Add to that some Kool-Aid and fruit by the foot. There’s not even any juice in the Kool-aid – the first ingredient is sugar! Look, I’m sure that by now I’ve bored you all to death with all of this. If you’re going to buy it for your kids, you’re probably buying it no matter what I say – either because you’ve convinced yourself that it’s easy and you don’t have any extra time or because your kids actually like it and you don’t want to fight. (sounds of kids fighting/yelling)
It probably doesn’t matter that health experts like Dr. Dennis Wissing of LSU Health in Shreveport Louisiana singled out Lunchables and other food like it as one of the main reasons our kids’ weight is going through the roof. It probably doesn’t matter that it’s so small and so expensive that you end up throwing money away on something that doesn’t even fill your kid up.
One last test – let’s ask a kid.
(brief reactions from my kids after they try Lunchables)
So the question is – why do Lunchables still exist? It’s not healthy and it’s expensive – you must care about at least one of those things! So let’s do the right thing and turn this into a world where Lunchables are no longer a thing!