Monday, January 6, 2014

I will not eat green eggs and ham-How about Blue

Kermit the Frog lamented that It’s not easy being green

Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook:
Recipes Inspired by Dr. Seuss
The infamous Soylent Green actually arrived after its predecessors Soylent Red and Yellow.

But somehow blue is the most unsavory color.
  • Why can't we stomach the idea of blue food?
  • What do we associate with the color blue?
  • What's up with Blue Raspberry?

"I do not like green eggs and ham. I will not eat green eggs and ham." Sam said. What about blue eggs and ham?

Green eggs and ham is a delicious rhyming book encouraging early readers to try new things. The book used fewer than 50 words in total to get across the message.

Ahead of his time, Dr. Seuss would have been a real Social Media and Twitter Guru, the ability to whittle his message down to 50 words. 

Chef Mario Batali reads Green Eggs and Ham

These days, for suggesting food of a different color, Dr. Seuss, George Carlin and Alfred Hitchcock may not be sentenced to teeter off of the faces of Mt Rushmore.  

Instead they might hear, "Hands up! Utensils down!" Then they'd be brought to stand before the three stoic faces of Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, and be judged. Most people eat with their eyes first. A Top Chef knows that.

In the food color smackdown,
blue is the least desirable color.

Psychologists tell us that blue is an appetite suppressant. Your personal
Rachael Ray Dinnerware
Round & Square Dinner 4 Plate Set
dishwasher safe
trainer or weight loss coach might suggest eating on blue plates. 

You can wear blue tinted glasses when you eat. Change the light bulb in your refrigerator to blue. Food will look its least appetizing when it's tinged with blue. 

That Blue Plate Special may not be so special after all unless one of your New Year's resolutions was to shed some pounds.

Some weight loss programs include ideas to take our favorite foods and transform them, make them taste, smell and look disgusting so we won't crave them anymore. 

Associate that brownie with something repulsive instead of something delicious, etc.

The idea extends to color in your kitchen and dining room. Blue may be a calming color but you don't want it in those rooms. Maybe you're opening a restaurant, you're an event planner, caterer, interior designer. 

 Green Eggs and Ham Recipe Spinach Omelet

Psychologists warn against blue walls or table linens. Don’t present your guests with appetite suppressants as soon as they sit down. That’s like putting a scented candle on the table. Eeewww. 

The one exception I saw where they suggest you might have blue walls in a restaurant is at a buffet. It can subliminally make customers take less food to be surrounded by blue!

George Carlin pooh-poohs the idea of blue food. How about blue potatoes, bleu cheese, blue corn? They’ve jumped off the cliff into being purple just like blueberries. Is blue sometimes in the eye of the beholder?

What do we associate with Blue?  
What’s normally blue?  

Downy Fabric Softener
Ultra Concentrated
April Fresh 34 fl oz
First I think of a quote from the great Carol Channing, in her piece about Housework on the 1972 LP Free to Be You and Me. Blue is associated with things like, "Soap or detergent or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach." 

There’s the blue toilet bowl cleaners. The water in the toilet might be blue while being cleaned.

This association is learned for the most part. The American Association of Poison Control is currently dealing with many reports surrounding dishwasher and laundry detergent packets. 

Children and animals get into them, biting or otherwise squeezing and opening them. Even a bad smell isn’t always a deterrent to kids or pets or it isn’t until it is too late. 

When my friend returned home one time they found that their cats had opened a cupboard and spilled liquid laundry detergent all over the floor. A simple child safety latch would save vet bills and a lot of heartache as well as damage and time spent cleaning up.

These packets are most troublesome because they may look like candy or toys. They're not all blue, some are purple, green or a swirl of different colors.

It's suggested that we store things like cleaning items up high out of children's sight and reach in a cabinet affixed with a child safety lock. 

Blue is associated with things poisonous and/or medicinal. Aside from cleaners, the packaging of products for digestive issues tends to be that color. One exception there being items with cartoon covers, things like cereals.

Cobalt Blue Glass Potion Bottle - Handmade Pewter Pentacle Stopper

Apothecary blue bottles held poisonous substances including medicines, acid and ink.  You can find old cobalt, cornflower aqua or ice blue glass bottles; they may still have the labels of the substances that were once inside. Pharmacies sometimes use blue glass bottles today.

There are other yummy things on the bluish scale: Batteries that have corroded, billiard cue chalk. Mold and other food that’s gone bad. (Not considering bleu cheese.)

An exception would be the occasional toothpaste or mouthwash. Neither is something you’d choose as a garnish for the perfect dinner.

Count Chocula and  Franken Berry cereals debuted around Halloween time in 1971. Count Chocula was the first chocolate-flavored cereal and Frankenberry the only strawberry flavored cereal.  The characters associated with the cereals were as memorable as the products themselves.

1972 was a huge year for innovation. The first pay cable network, HBO, was transmitted and electronic mail was introduced. The compact disc and the antidepressant Prozac were developed. 

Atari introduced the arcade version of Pong. The Godfather, Cabaret and Sleuth were current movies.  Isaac Hayes won a Grammy Award for the Theme From Shaft. We saw the premieres of Ms. Magazine and M*A*S*H

And so it follows that in 1972, we'd see Boo Berry, the first cereal that tasted like blueberries and turned the milk in your bowl blue. The world was ready for it by then.
The cereals are still available if you're lucky to find them.

What about Blue Raspberry?

In 1976 the FDA banned Red Dye No. 2. This dye had been used in many things
Durkee Blue Food Color
16-oz (Pk of 3)
5 Star Ratings
including our food, drugs and cosmetics. In 1990, according to The New York Times, the Food and Drug Administration banned many uses of Red Dye No. 3.

At some point probably in the 70s after the red dye was banned, blue became the go-to color for raspberry flavor, particularly ices, ice pops and ice slush drinks.  Maybe the occasional lollypop or other Willy Wonka-ish confection.

Usually food that is simply dyed blue would be fine, the stomach troubles that Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon suffered after dining at Mr. Hitchcock’s house aside. Some of the stories about Hitchcock’s pranks are quite extraordinary. 

[This is part of a blue series....]

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