An Odd (Healthy) Choice

I eat a lot of Healthy Choice frozen food. I am a terrible cook and I’m trying to lose weight, so their products appeal to me.

One of their more respectably tasty entrĂ©es is their “Chicken Margherita”, a nice little chicken and pasta dish. For years, it was served in the traditional small, flat box.

The packaging has recently been changed, however:

They have decided, for some reason, to make this a “Cafe Steamer” dish. This is problematic for several reasons.

The first is that it vastly increases the size of the packaging, to the point where I can’t fit more than one in my freezer at the same time. Why is this?

Because each individual package is now two very large, thick pieces of plastic: A bowl the sauce sits at the bottom of, and a steaming basket that sits above it with the pasta, chicken, and bits of tomato and garlic.

This leads me to my second problem with this change: Did anyone think of how much more waste this whole process produces? To go from one flimsy piece of plastic to two very strong ones a) cannot be cheap and b) is just a wee bit earth-unfriendly.

And frankly, it doesn’t really taste any different from the way it did when you just nuked the traditional flat package.

It does, however, lead me to the most amusing problem: Hilariously obvious instructions.

This is a picture of the directions on the back, which you can click to enlarge:

I direct your attention to the text in italics on the bottom right. If you can’t read it from the picture, it says:

Meal can also be enjoyed by placing steamed food on a plate and topping with sauce.

Wow! You mean I’m not legally obligated to use this giant plastic thing included in the packaging? I totally thought that’s what I was agreeing to by purchasing this Cafe Steamer.

Overall, it adds up to a needless, wasteful, and downright silly redesign of a product that was just fine the way it originally was.

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