Banquet TV dinners past and present

Can you tell what’s missing here:


Take your time.

Time’s up. The correct answer is: A SECOND PIECE OF CHICKEN.

The other day, I was at my local “supermarket” looking for “backup meals.” Back up meals are just a source of calories for when you may not have had the chance to cook and just want a quick meal without a lot of hassle. Good back up meals should have a low cost/calorie ratio. Naturally, I go to the TV dinner section thinking that Moore’s Law of Frozen/Preserved Meals should be yielding 10,000 calorie meals for only $1 (way more than when I last ate a TV dinner). What I saw instead were:

  • Stouffers – $6. These are surprisingly tasty and yield a fair number of calories, but it exceeds the “Cheap Chinese Food Barrier.” The “Cheap Chinese Food barrier” is the price of a cheap Chinese food takeout meal. If a frozen meal exceeds that price, I’d prefer to get cheap Chinese food.
  • Smart Ones – $4. These look like a pretty good deal at first until I realized that a box only had 230 calories and 11g of protein! At this point, I might as well have a protein shake for $0.75 (cost of protein powder+ milk)!
  • Banquet Fried Chicken – $1.50. I was pretty excited that these were on sale for 2 for $3, so I bought a whole bunch of them. However, I was really sad that they were missing the SECOND piece of chicken. Back when I was a kid, mother Banquet would prepare me frozen meals with a tiny scoop of potatoes, a tiny scoop of corn, and TWO pieces of chicken. Though it was still probably a pretty good deal for $1.50, it just made me sad. Oh how times have changed!

Oh, and here were a few other acceptable answers that have nothing to do with this post:

  • a spoon (a cha!)
  • most of the stuff you actually want in a meal (micronutrients, fiber, etc)
  • ketchup

Next up: Why does my Kefir have clumps in it?

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