9 years ago: Cheetohs of mass destruction

From this blog, Jan. 21, 2004: Cheetohs of mass destruction

The Cheetoh-factor, in which every additional adjective makes the noun in question less true:

• “Cheese” = cheese

• “processed cheese” = cheese, sort of

• “processed cheese food” = cheese, sort of, plus other stuff that’s not cheese

• “processed cheese food snack product” = the food in question is orange, but contains no actual cheese.

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  • PurpleAardvaark

    And still relevant today. Real cheese comes from places like Stone Meadow Farm where the milk from the cows is used to make the cheese that is sold by the farmer at the farmers’ market. The further you get from there the closer you get to Tate Cheese and CheeseToes.

  • CheeseToes sound pretty good.

  • What’s Tate Cheese? 
    I’d try Cheese-Toes, what flavors do they come in?

  • Münchner Kindl

    Fred, there’s one step before which you missed:

    (Name of specific cheese: Gouda, Edamer, Mountain cheese from region x, Cheddar, …) = real cheese

    “cheese” = something that resembles real cheese

  • The_L1985

    And let’s not forget:  “Fruit Drink With Natural Flavors.”  Maybe 5% of the ingredients were once part of a fruit, but they bear no resemblance to fruit now.

    “Fruit Juice” = may be more than 15% juice.  The rest is water and corn syrup.

    “All-Natural Fruit Juice” = 10% juice.

    “100% Fruit Juice” = actual juice, possibly from concentrate.

  • Carstonio

    Isn’t “cheese food” what cheese eats?

  • Lori


    “100% Fruit Juice” = actual juice, possibly from concentrate. 

    Actual fruit juice, but not the fruit shown on the label. The picture is a cranberry or a cherry or whatever. The juice is almost entirely white grape.

  • In fairness, undiluted cranberry juice would do nasty things to one’s stomach if consumed directly.

  • PatBannon

    I’ve observed that apple is the most common juice filler, but white grape is indeed common.

  • Foreigner

    And here in Tescoland, 100% beef burger may mean ‘contains horse’.

  • Lori

    In fairness, undiluted cranberry juice would do nasty things to one’s stomach if consumed directly.  

    Yes, obviously. My point wasn’t that 100% cranberry juice is desirable. It’s that the labels touting 100% juice are strictly true, but still deceptive.

  • So, after looking at the post in full, does anyone else have feelings of, “Maybe life isn’t so bad,” when they are reminded that George W. Bush was in office and he isn’t anymore?

    Because from a perspective of, “Well, Bush could be president*,” everything just seems so much… better.

    * Not constitutionally, I understand, but from a, “It is possible to imagine a world in which this is the case,” sort of thing.

  • christopher_y

    “Which incidentally brings me to the delicate and important distinction between the words ‘with’ and ‘from.’ Suppose you are advertising lemonade, or, not to be invidious, we will say perry. If you say ‘Our perry is made from fresh-plucked pears only,’ then it’s got to be made from pears only, or the statement is actionable; if you just say it is made ‘from pears,’ without the ‘only,’ the betting is that it is probably made chiefly from pears; but if you say, ‘made with pears,’ you generally mean that you use a peck a pears to a ton of turnips, and the law cannot touch you — such are the niceties of our English tongue.”

    -Dorothy Sayers, Murder Must Advertise

  • The fun part is that in Canada, the exact quantities of fruit juice create angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin style debates about whether or not the GST applies to them.

  • redsixwing

     This is off topic, but I like 100% cranberry juice.
    I also have a very high tolerance for acidic foods and like bitter tastes, so. ^^;

    I gather most people like sweeter things, hence the common use of apple and grape juices.

  • Lori

    I don’t have nearly a high enough tolerance for acidic foods to drink 100% cranberry juice. Even in fairly small quantities it gives me sore spots in my mouth. I get the same thing from eating too many fresh tomatoes. I do generally want my cranberry juice to be significantly more cranberry than white grape (or apple) though.  Reading the big print on the front label doesn’t really get you that. You’ve got to look at the much smaller print on the back label instead.

  • redsixwing

     Oh, ouch! That sounds really unpleasant.

    I wish they’d put these things on the front label. It would save me a lot of time in the grocery store, cluttering up the juice section as I go “nope, too sweet, that one too, that one doesn’t have actual juice in it..”

    It’s enough to make a person quit buying juice. ^^;

  • Fusina

     That book was an education in the insidiousness of advertising. I learned much, and spent a great deal of my children’s time instilling this knowledge so that it became intrinsic to their thought processes. Thus far, it is working. Yay!

  • Michele Cox

     “Cheese food” is what cheese eats.  “Cheese food product” is… well. What you get back :)

  • Carstonio

    Once I mistakenly opened a bathroom stall and found a Swiss cheese wheel using the toilet. It glared at me and I apologized. I should have picked up on the smell of rennet…

  • christopher_y

    On the topic of cranberries, it’s worth noting that you shouldn’t eat or drink them if you use certain drugs, notably statins or warfarin. I’m told this is one of those contraindications you should actually take pretty seriously.

  • Jenora Feuer

    Yes, just as there are some drugs that should not be taken with grapefruit juice.  Mostly certain heart medications.

    My understanding is that the problem is that the grapefruit juice helps the drug cross the barriers into the bloodstream faster than normal diffusion, which means that you effectively get twice the dose of the drug, lasting for half as long.

    Given that for some of these drugs, the medically useful dose is more than half the lethal dose, this becomes an obvious problem…

  •  Lidl has “100% rye bread” which contain more potato than rye. Which is not to altogether slam potato in rye bread – it works pretty well – but hello, false advertising.

  •  And “No added sugar!” usually means “we added aspartame instead!”. Which is a really  annoying, since I also like acidic/ sour juices (sea buckthorn is awesome. And expensive as fuck, 100% undiluted unsweetened) and pretty much all the lingonberry, cranberry etc juices are sweetened with aspartame, which has a really unpleasant aftertaste to me.

  • Kat

    This brought tears to my eyes. I was a foreign exchange student to Italy when I was 16 and up until my cheese consumption was primarily Kraft cheddar… Monterrey Jack was an adventure. So, needless to say, my cheese horizons were expanded that year. 

    An Italian friend came home with me to visit and was appalled by cheddar (no matter the provenance) let alone processed cheese because she insisted that “cheese is not orange!” which adds an additional source of amusement to: “the food in question is orange, but contains no actual cheese.

  • Kiba

    Yeah, one of my grandmother’s medications (think it’s one of the anti-rejection ones) warns her not to eat grapefruit since it messes with the medication’s efficacy. This annoys her because she loves grapefruit and can’t eat it anymore. 

  • Found on James Nicoll’s LJ:


    Fox News Channel announced today that it would shut down for what it called “routine maintenance” Monday morning at 11:30 E.T.
    Fox News president Roger Ailes explained the timing of the shutdown, which will be the first in the history of the network: “We wanted to pick a time when we were positive nothing would be happening that our viewers would want to see.”

  • Now I’m waiting to see Perry With Turnips on Dr. Oz.

  • P J Evans

     You hardly ever find 100% rye bread. It would be more like a brick, as it doesn’t rise well.

  • SisterCoyote, in spotty wifi

    This is way off topic, but if you haven’t watched a video of President Obama’s inauguration speech, go do so. It was utterly incredible.

    Our school newspaper sent a handful of us on the bus trip; I took notes on one knee from far across the field, and towards the end, as he spoke on equality, my gay and bi friends and myself screamed ourselves hoarse and embraced. I’m utterly blown away.

    …that, and the multiple Fuck Yous to the Tea Party were awesome.

  • P J Evans

    “We wanted to pick a time when we were positive nothing would be happening that our viewers would want to see.”

    Yeah, right. How many hours did they give it in 2004?

  • Mark Z.

    Anti-rejection drugs are one of the big ones. Others include sedatives, antipsychotics, and heart rhythm stabilizers, all things you don’t want to mess up the dosing on.

    (Good news: someone is trying to breed a grapefruit that produces 

  • hagsrus


    “Oh, you’re after
    butter now, are you, Horace?” said Tiffany, picking up the dairy broom. “That’s
    practically cannibalism, you know.”

    Still, it was better than mice, she had to admit.
    Finding little piles of mouse bones on the floor was a bit distressing.

    (Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett)

  • hagsrus

     Well, it could mesh nicely with the secret swearing in on the Koran, perhaps?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Does the problem also carry over to part-grapefruit fruits? Because my family got a case of fruit from http://www.honeybelltangelos.com/ and they’re grapefruit/tangerine/orange crosses, and I don’t know whether the meds I’m on would be affected.

    I also don’t find citrus appealing, but Mom’s on me to at least try it, and I might remind her I’m on an antidepressant but I don’t have any plans to tell her about the contraceptive pills.

  • It’s an Onion-style blog post.  :)

    But it’s got that covered too:

    Mr. Ailes said that Fox had considered shutting down only once before, exactly four years earlier on January 20, 2009, and later regretted the decision to continue broadcasting that day: “It turned out that no Fox viewers wanted to watch TV that day. And I mean none.”

  • Finland. Rye bread is all over, although 100% rye is not the norm anymore it’s quite easy to find whole rye loaves*. It rises just fine, although you need a “root” of an old dough for a yeast culture. Normal yeast doesn’t do the trick. Some bakeries have cultures that go back more than a hundred years. It’s so awesome, biochemistry and history and gastronomy combined. :)

    * And the variants are endless. I particularly like the coastal area’s sweet rye bread made with syrup and spices in the dough, and it keeps really well without preservatives too. But there’s just no competition for a fresh real rye loaf. Yumm.

  • And now for some real news: http://io9.com/5976112/how-19+year+old-activist-zack-kopplin-is-making-life-hell-for-louisianas-creationists

    For Zack Kopplin, it all started back in 2008 with the passing of the Louisiana Science Education Act. The bill made it considerably easier for teachers to introduce creationist textbooks into the classroom. Outraged, he wrote a research paper about it for a high school English class. Nearly five years later, the 19-year-old Kopplin has become one of the fiercest — and most feared — advocates for education reform in Louisiana

    Soon after the act was passed, some of his teachers began to not just supplement existing texts, but to rid the classroom of established science books altogether. 

    “By my senior year though, I realized that no one was going to take on the law, so for my high school senior project I decided to get a repeal bill.”

  • What does the Koran have to do with CheeseToes, Perry, or eating mice? Let’s try to stay on subject here. Then again, in Revelations St. John did mention he ate a few leaves of the Bible. “…and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.” Rev 10:10, maybe if he’d added some balsamic vinegarette?

  • Madhabmatics

     I read this as “lye bread” and I was like “Thank God no one is making 100% lye bread”

  • ReverendRef

    With regards to fruit juice . . . Episcopalians use wine.

  • Indiana Joe

    Once I came across, “imitation artificial processed cheese food product.” I’m not sure what was in it, but there probably wasn’t any cheese.

  • Now *that* would be a brick. Although there’s a Swedish fish prepared with lye. I don’t want to think how desperate you’d need to be to discover lye-soaked fish to be edible after preparing it the right way.

  • B

    Of course there’s always “whole wheat bread” and “whole grain bread” which generally has lots of white flour in it: if you want 100% whole wheat bread, you have to look for bread that specifically says “100% whole wheat”.

    Now in the US at least “No sugar added”  also precludes adding things like fruit juice concentrate as a sweetener, but I think something that says “no refined sugar, no HFCS” can still be sweetened with concentrated fruit juice, which typically has more fructose than either table sugar or HFCS if you’re concerned about such things.

    When I started my final cutback on soda, getting rid of the can I was drinking every day at lunch and sometimes at dinner, I started by switching from soda to fruit juice and was discouraged to realize that fruit juice may be sugar water with a few vitamins and antioxidants… but, sadly, it’s still  sugar water.

  • My life is definitely better than if Dubya were still in office. Directly, physically better.

  • Jenora Feuer

    I must admit I have no idea.  They’re probably safer than straight grapefruit; pomelos definitely are at least as bad, but the more ‘bred out’ away from pomelos and grapefruit things are, the safer they probably are.  There have been active attempts to breed citrus fruit without the chemicals responsible for the interactions.

    Looking up ‘Grapefruit juice and medication’ brought me to a Mayo Clinic page, a PDF from the FDA, and the Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grapefruit_drug_interactions which go into some more detail.  Zoloft/Sertraline is definitely on the list under Antidepressants.

  • Stone Meadow Farm stuff is significantly more expensive than, say, Velveeta. Or even grocery-brand cheese.

    I used to buy organic food all the time. I do not any longer. Can’t afford it. And theoretically, I could send my husband to the farmer’s market half an hour  (in Florida, with the most dangerous drivers I know of) away, but I could not go there myself, even if I could afford the produce and prepare it (neither of which I can do). If I had to, and if I could drive or get driven, I would be able to tool around the grocery store in one of those motorized carts. Plus, knowing the people at our grocery store, they’d send someone with me to grab stuff off shelves, or even have everything ready for me before hand.

    “Juice drinks” are also cheaper than “100% juice”. And so on. 

  • P J Evans

     I have (somewhere) a cookbook with a recipe for Hiivaleipa. My mother made it a time or two, and it was tasty. But, yeah, rye usually gets mixed with wheat flour for a lighter loaf, especially in the US. (I have sourdough starter. It’s ‘only’ about 35 years old. I call it ‘applied microbiology’.)

  • P J Evans

     I’m lucky that my supermarket has a deli cheese section where they frequently have stuff that’s half-price. I’ve met some interesting cheeses that way, including real Cheddar and real Roquefort.

  • I’ve always heard that lutefisk was more Norwegian than Swedish, with many jokes being told about it being a prank the Swedes pulled on the Norwegians that backfired, and variations thereon.