Saturday, September 4, 2010

Grind My Gears 18

In a recent Grind My Gears segment (for which I won the prestigous Pulitzer Price for grumbling), I railed on companies that have sought to affiliate their products with terms such as "bistro" and "artisan" in some crazy mass-market attempt to make themselves appear hip and trendy. Blech! I say again, blech! I believe that I effectively convinced you that these marketing folks are from the devil. Today's Grind My Gears segment is closely related, in that it has to do with the "food" industry and its insane practices to get us to buy their crap over their competitor's crap. What has my gears a-grinding today are perfectly good, perfectly tasty products, products that we have been purchasing, enjoying, and destroying our bodies with for years, that feel the need to replace the salt that they have used since the beginning of time with sea salt. Again, this is done with an attitude of making themselves seem more sophisticated and trendy. You have to understand that these pinnacles of pin-headedness firmly believe, based on their fictional market studies, that sea salt is the type of thing you would see used liberally in an artisan bistro. This whole body snatchers-esque replacement of good, old-fashioned, regular salt with sea salt reminds me of another fad that swept the country in the 1990s where sun-dried tomatoes were added to every stinking product sold in my supermarket. They sound gourmet and fancy and refined, but they are simply gummy-bear-like wads that just get wedged in your teeth without adding any flavor. Yeah, how freaking attractive. Now, we are facing a similar menace with this sweeping sea-salt fad. Of course it has been shown in several recent scientific papers that sea salt actually contains no salt, but is instead comprised of nothing more than compacted shrimp excrement. From what I can tell, you would get a similar gastronomic experience to sea salt if you liberally sprinkled common, ordinary beach sand atop your favorite foods. Sea salt and anyone who thinks it is uber hip to pollute my eats with it really grind my gears.