December 18, 2010

Gift ideas — food category.

I was searching around in Amazon for gifts and, bereft of ideas, decided to search for "food." (Ah! What searching for food has meant over the ages of human history and pre-history!)

Well, the first 7 items on the list weren't even food. The top 30 was mostly things like the Melissa & Doug Wooden Sandwich-Making Set, the Melissa & Doug Slice and Bake Cookie Set, and various other Melissa & Doug wooden food stuff. Why wooden toy food? — you might ask. Whatever happened to plastic toy food? I figure, when it comes to play food, wooden is like organic. You want the kids to have healthy fake food.

If you don't count jars of baby food* — organic, of course — you don't get any food when you search for food until you get to.... well, the list goes up to 50 without any food. Okay. I'll search the Grocery & Gourmet Food category. Again, baby food is huge. Obvious why, actually. Diapers are popular too. You know what you need. You need a lot. And it's hard to get out of the house. Those single-cup coffee packets are popular. Pet food. Astronaut Ice Cream. Iffy gift baskets.

Back to that pet food:
Pack of twenty four, 5.5-ounces per can (total of 132 ounces)
With ingredients that are fit for human consumption
Made in a human food facility
Boneless, skinless, white breast meat chicken in a sumptuous gravy
Grain free product
All food ingredients are fit for human consumption
What are they trying to say?

I need to get back to my search. If you're searching too, please use this portal:


* A deeper search reveals baby food — organic, of course — that comes in pouches. Do they out-green the glass jars? Eh! Who knows? Glass jars, you can recycle, but recycling uses fossil fuels. Pouches... must be plastic, but they roll up into nothing. My advice is: Buy what you like! The same goes for Christmas trees.


edutcher said...

You must have been watching Cavuto the last couple of days - "Nothing wins a woman's heart like processed meats and cheeses".

Meade said...

Let us know if you come across baby food fit for canine consumption, will you? Thanks.

d-day said...

Ann, I agree with you about most everything, but please -- no scorn for the wooden sandwich making set. I ordered that for my three-year-old daughter three weeks ago and I have high hopes for it. The child has never eaten anything that remotely resembles bread. SHE WON'T EAT BREAD. Or waffles, or pancakes, cookies, cakes. She used to eat crackers but now won't. She basically subsides on yogurt and pepperoni. Not at the same time, mind you, because in her world, FOOD MUST NOT TOUCH. I once dipped a tortilla chip into some salsa and offered it to her, and she cried like her heart was breaking. The food she actually eats resembles plastic already. When I saw the wooden sandwich kit, you bet your ass I jumped on it. I even gave it to her early, so it wouldn't get lost in the shuffle of her other Christmas toys (mostly electronics). And when I see her playing with TOYS made of WOOD which somewhat resembles BREAD and it STICKS to OTHER FOOD COMPOSITES and she LIKES it? It makes my neurotic mother's heart go pitter-pat. Even though all she does with it is hack it apart with the knife and giggle at the tearing velcro sound. But yeah, do not question the Amazon ranking system. They know what they're about.

Also, the kit was on a steep, steep discount that lots of people jumped on, so that may have something to do with the ranking.

Meade said...

Particularly if you come across intellectually inert baby food fit for canine consumption.

Beta Rube said...

I bought a bunch of Melissa and Doug stuff this year from Amazon through your link.

My grand kids like playing with fake wooden food for some reason, and it bridges the gender gap nicely (at least for a 2 and 4 year old).

d-day said...

Just noticed the new tagline on the blog. I see you replaced the existing normal.

Class factotum said...

Just noticed the new tagline on the blog. I see you replaced the existing normal.

I thought bratwurst was by definition inert.

EDH said...

"With ingredients that are fit for human consumption

Made in a human food facility

Boneless, skinless, white breast meat..."

What are they trying to say?

It's people! Amazon baby and pet food is made out of people!

john said...

Maybe you should have confined your quest to fire:

You could be reading: Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, by Richard Wrangham. Very interesting and thought provoking.

OR you could be watching the mud-covered Rae Dawn Chong in Quest for Fire.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I don't feel scorn (or whatever else Althouse expects us to feel) when I see those Amazon results. Most people don't go to Amazon to buy their every day groceries, they go there to buy specialty items, like wooden toys and gourmet dog food, which their regular grocery store doesn't stock.

Jason (the commenter) said...

What freaks me out are the set of four, "ALTHOUSE" mini-mousepad coasters.

If you thought googling people was weird, try amazoning people!

john said...

Wow - Caster & Pollux organic dog food: $59!

That's nearly $420 in dog money.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Amazon also seems to be selling a baby picture of the young Althouse.

rhhardin said...

Amazon also has a lot of $250 gallons of milk, some seller hoping somebody one-clicks.

Watch that decimal place in groceries.

Jason (the commenter) said...

rhhardin: Amazon also has a lot of $250 gallons of milk, some seller hoping somebody one-clicks.

You can usually get it cheaper if you buy used.

rhhardin said...

Bird food.

The key to feeding birds in winter is berries they don't like.

Those are the last berries that are left in the winter.

The Washington Hawthorn berries are gone before they leave in the fall.

Jason (the commenter) said...

john: Wow - Caster & Pollux organic dog food: $59!

I'm holding out for Romulus and Remus organic dog food. It's so good, you'd kill your own brother for it!

d-day said...

I thought that was the "K9 and Abel" dog food?

MadisonMan said...

15-yo cheddar from Fromagination. I have heard that the 20-yo cheddar will be ready in a few years. The crystalline structure of the old cheddars is fabulous.

Sorry, althouse, but I buy local for Christmas gifts, but if my sister gives the kids amazon gift certificates for Xmas, I'll see that they enter via the portal to buy their cds.

Trooper York said...

The great thing about the lame duck congress is that now when you buy a salami for your son in the army....he can smoke it.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not scorning. Just interested and amused by what shows up. It's some kind of insight into human behavior.

deborah said...

RH, I think that may be the most beautiful picture I've ever seen from you. I'm using it as my laptop desktop.

Are all the sumac berries gone by spring?

d-day said...

Insight into human behavior? Amazon has that too.

Emil said...

Four words: Swiss Colony Cheese Log.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Ann Althouse: It's some kind of insight into human behavior

There's definitely definitely definitely no logic to human behavior.

BJM said...

Including the word "gourmet" in the search criteria returned a cornucopia of reasonably priced goodies that one could actually gift:

-Four Continents of Cheese

-Hawaiian Black Lava Salt

-Smokehouse 100% Natural Duck Breast Tenders Dog Treats

Then there's this page...and this one. Yum.

After a week of candy making & cookie baking I only have eyes & taste buds for savory & salty treats.

BJM said...

@Jason 11:49

I buy non-perishable groceries, office, gardening, cleaning and home supplies on Amazon.

I pay for Prime Shipping, so why not? I no longer have to drive to various places to get mundane items. I haven't been in an office supply store in years.

Best of all UPS cheerfully delivers it to my door, just like the rich folks.

Amazon - the great class leveler, who knew?

DaveW said...

What are they trying to say?

They're trying to say the pet food isn't garbage.

My vet told me the canned dog food you buy in the grocery store is really just hair and blood swept off the floor where the animals are butchered, then processed to look like food. He said it's worse than trash, and people buy it because they think they're giving their pet better food, when in fact the manufactured kibble is better because it's produced in a controlled environment and with controlled ingredients.

He recommends Purina One and that's what my dogs get.

Freeman Hunt said...

I get diapers delivered from Amazon regularly via Subscribe & Save.

I bought astronaut ice cream to go in the kids' stockings, but I bought it two weeks ago as part of an order from a different online retailer. Sorry, Althouse.

People need to sell dogs through Amazon. I think I've decided to buy a dog, but this requires an enormous amount of research, and dog breeder websites are mostly terrible. They could benefit from Amazon's layout standardization.

Freeman Hunt said...

Maybe Obama could use the Althouse Amazon link to send copies of his own book as Christmas presents to friends and relatives.

john said...

Freeman -

Or you could get a rescue dog from the Humane Society. One special animal is there, right now, waiting to be taken in.

MadisonMan said...

Or you could get a rescue dog from the Humane Society. One special animal is there, right now, waiting to be taken in.

Or a rescue society specific to a breed, which is how we found our dog, although with some of the rescue associations it's harder to adopt the dog than a kid. Luckily the people who were fostering our dog were walking it around, and the dog walked over and plopped itself in my wife's lap. Decision made.

BJM said...


Agree wholeheartedly with MM, go for a breed rescue or a shelter dog.We've fostered for breed rescue and our last three dogs have been adopted.

I would never buy a pup from an out of the area breeder unless I could visit the kennel.

By the end of January Christmas puppies will flood the shelters and rescue groups. So keep a sharp eye out at your local shelter, chat them up and leave your phone number.

DaveW said...

Yeah, you should definitely look into getting a dog through a rescue program Freeman. That's where Herbie (my avatar) came from.

You can start by looking at Punch in your zip code and select a breed. You can filter it down by age and gender.

Most of the pets there are rescue animals, and people foster them at their homes until they can be placed, so they're usually trained or in the process of training.

When we adopted Herbie they came to the house and looked over the yard and whatnot. The people involved in that are big time animal lovers and you don't have to worry that you're supporting a puppy mill. Plus your pet will come spayed and (usually) chipped, so that's already done.

I'm a big fan of that outfit and the way they've set up a nationwide network. I see that eventually replacing the old public shelter system for the most part.

HDHouse said...

I love a good pandering....

SarcastiCarrie said...

I buy a lot of babyfood in pouches from Amazon. My kids are not babies but they think it's good fun to slurp a fruit or veggie out of a squeeze pouch as bedtime snack. What's not to love about pear broccoli or blueberry sweet potato bedtime snack? And it's much cheaper than Target (and Target only has two or three flavors).

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