Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)
TITLE: Paper or Plastic
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How strange then that the questions come not from you but from my other daughter. My Spanish daughter. “Why do you have so many kinds of bread in America? At my home we go to the bakery and we can buy three kinds of bread, white, wheat and rye. You have an entire aisle of only bread. How do you know which one to buy?”
I laugh and begin a dialogue about American consumerism that I am not prepared for. I thought I was, I expected it even, but how do you explain the difference between thin sliced,thick,sandwich sliced sliced and texas toast and whole wheat and cracked wheat, not to mention brand loyalty and packaging.
From bread we move on to salad dressing. I try to explain that the seven different kinds of Popular Name Brand Mayonaise are exactly the same, we just buy them for the packaging, glass verses plastic, plastic wide mouth verses squeeze bottle, jumbo size versus tiny versus family size, square versus round and on and on. Then on to generics or store brands.
“They look at me like I am crazy, you mean there is a brand that is almost always cheaper? Why doesn’t everyone just buy that one.”
Now is there a good answer to this I ask you reader? I can say that in some products there is a difference. The quality is not as high, but in most products the difference is minimal so why do we buy the name brands? We enter into a discussion of marketing and brand loyalty.
Our final decision, my two new daughters believe that the United States truly is the land of milk and honey, and I end up convinced that we have complicated our lives with pointless decisions like paper or plastic?
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