Harley Hay, Hay's Daze.

Hay’s Daze: Whopper of a lawsuit

What happens when your Whopper isn’t much of a whopper after all? When your Big Mac looks sad and messy? When your Wendy’s Baconator ain’t bringin’ home the bacon? Well, these days you take ‘em to court and sue the heck out of ‘em.

At least that’s what they do in Florida. The latest food lawsuit involves Burger King and a bunch of Floridians are taking the King to court for false advertising. They say Burger King is cheating customers because the Whopper sandwich that appears in their advertising is much larger that what is actually served. They are suing for 5 million beans which would buy an awful lot of bad burgers. In fact you could say the lawsuit is a real whopper (sorry).

It’s a big of a head-scratcher, isn’t it? On one hand, when has a burger from a fast food joint ever looked like its fancy photo or its lovely lusciousness on a TV ad. I mean, there are actual food stylists that are hired to make food look as delectable as possible. They use varnish to make buns shine and shoe polish to make the meat browner and you would tip over and croak if you actually ate what they are showing in the advertising.

But when it’s been proven that the advertising of a Whopper makes it appear that the sandwiches are 35% larger and contain “more than double the meat” than is actually served, well maybe it is time to make the burger barons put their money where their meat is.

I personally have a beef with one of my favorite gourmet meals that surprisingly isn’t actually a hamburger. For years good old Kraft Dinner has been the king of my cooking repertoire. Back in the rock band days we practically lived on the stuff since it was the cheapest eatable substance on the shelf (25 cents), it stuck to your ribs for fair while, and it actually tasted more or less like real food. And surprisingly, I still love the stuff – or at least I did until recently. Until the dreaded shrinkflation.

We all know that we are getting less stuff for the same (or greater) price and the producers are getting sneaky about it. And I recently realized to my dismay the stalwart standby, KD, is no exception. The box is the same size and the attractive photo of the cheesy macaroni is exactly the same but two things have now changed. It’s a whopping (sorry) $1.57 now for a box – but here’s the real kicker: the macaroni bits are noticeably smaller than they used to be. And as a result – at least in my expert cooking experience – the pasta comes out what as we chefs technically call “all mushy”, and it tastes “really awful”.

This is not only a sacrilege, it’s misleading, false and possibly hurtful advertising misrepresentation. Not that much different from the Burger King Whopper issue previously discussed. But rather than entering into a costly and complicated lawsuit I was thinking about writing a very indignant letter to Kraft demanding that they return our beloved macaroni and cheese to its former size, weight and deliciousness. I’m sure that would work.

So I’ve researched KD and discovered that it’s touted as the “national dish of Canada”. It’s packaged in Quebec for us Canuks and get this – in the U.S. it’s called “Macaroni & Cheese” but “Kraft Dinner” in Canada because in our country it’s illegal to call something “cheese” that isn’t really “cheese”.

Be that as it may, I’m going to send off my excellent letter to KD today. It will be so wonderful when they return it to the way it’s supposed to be, and you’re welcome.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker. Reach out to Harley with any thoughts or ideas at harleyhay1@hotmail.com.

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