Nothing screams out “Disposable Culture” like a walk down the lunch meat aisle. How many times have you walked past this section of the supermarket without noticing the plastic packaging surrounding the lunch meats? Every time someone buys lunch meat here they are supporting the plastic industry and adding more plastic to the waste stream. On the other side of the store is someone who will cut any size portion you want at any thickness for less money.  It comes in a plastic bag that can be re-used over and over again and finally brought back to the store to be recycled.

Let’s take a look at some of our options in the lunch meat dept.

Oscar Meyer Deli Fresh Ham can’t be as fresh as the meat in the deli because the expiration date is two weeks from now.  And the meat in the deli would go bad if it sat around that long.  So I’m guessing that they pump it with preservatives so that it looks good and call it Deli-Fresh so that subliminally we will think their meat is as fresh as real deli meat.  It also comes in not one, but two layers of plastic. Now that’s fresh!

Maybe the idea of the meat coming from a New England farm would make some people feel better. Hillshire Farms from Sara Lee would be the brand for them.   Healthy Ones from Armour-Eckrich Meats LLC, a $1 billion branded meats company is lunch meat for those concerned about weight loss or their health and don’t have the time to look at the label to find out why it is so healthy. It must be healthier, otherwise how could they call it Healthy Ones?   

And finally, Oscar Meyer Lunchables is the perfect product for today’s busy working moms, who apparently don’t have time to pack a lunch for their kids. It’s got cheese and crackers and ham wrapped up in a custom molded plastic container.  All you have to do for them now is throw the package in a plastic lunch box along with a bottle of soda and off to school they go!

-Norm Landis