Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pink Pop-Tarts?

Three things, in two articles, on a recent front page of the Los Angeles Times newspaper, scared the living daylights out of me. The articles appeared above the fold-- the top half of the paper, meaning their placement implied the information was really important. I took notice.

First was the fact, and I can't stress the word "fact" enough-- that WalMart shipped huge quantities of strawberry Pop-Tarts to Florida-- during a hurricane-- Because apparently, when Mother Nature smacks people upside the head, Pop-Tarts are the food of choice.

The second alarming "fact" was that WalMart had statistical and historical data to prove the wildly insane increase in sales of strawberry Pop-Tarts to justify driving 18-wheelers full of the stuff into the eye of the storm! I'm sure this says something about the "people of WalMart", the American public in general and Pop-Tarts' marketing strategy, but seriously-- The pink ones? Not the chocolate or the brown sugar cinnamon ones? And why Pop-Tarts of all things?

The third and final alarming above the fold "fact" in the LA Times that day was a headline screaming-- in all capital letters to drive the point home even further-- GET READY TO RUMBLE, about new data strongly suggesting a major Southern California earthquake-- in the 8.1 magnitude range, is coming our way.


Regular readers of this space will know information of this nature sends chills down my spine and reminds me yet again, why I do not like living on the West Coast, especially Los Angeles, which would be hugely impacted by the next "big one" discussed in this news story. In short, I hate earthquakes and this article, with descriptions like "grim", "dangerous" and my favorite-- "sleeping giant" makes me want to head for the hills-- on the East Coast.

The separate and unrelated articles gave me serious enough pause that I saved them to reread upon return from my recent vacation-- When I was more rested and relaxed. Problem was, I thought of this information several times while I was away and wondered if the editors at the Times deliberately intended for the alarming facts to be positioned together, on the same front page, leaving me to conclude...

I will be eating pink Pop-Tarts after a massive earthquake in the very near future.

Not Cheez Wiz. Not canned Spam. Not Cocoa Puffs cereal. Not baked beans with little wieners in it. No, I will be eating strawberry Pop-Tarts in my time of crisis, which, according to WalMart data, is the breakfast, lunch, and dinner of champions when the chips are down. How depressing is that!

Don't get me wrong, the fear of a ginormous earthquake does not go unnoticed. I take it and earthquake preparedness very seriously, but I can assure you that, as far as food is concerned, my emergency nourishment stash does not include a single Pop-Tart, let alone pink ones, no matter what WalMart's computerized data says. In fact, they never even crossed my mind.

I do have tons of bottled water, apple juice, powdered milk and instant coffee. Boxes of mac and cheese, canned soups, pasta and sauce, dried fruits, nuts and the likes are all on hand too, rotated every six months for freshness. And granted, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is only a slight notch above Pop-Tarts but at least I've seen it served on the Kid's Menu in restaurants.

Ideally, if I could keep a supply of comfort food on hand for a crisis, it would include all the makings of a Thanksgiving dinner, gourmet pizza, endless quantities of chocolate cake and my Mom's meatloaf, but obviously that's not going to happen. So I'll stick with the above mentioned "instant foods" and pray I don't see a convoy of Pop-Tart trucks pulling into my nearest FEMA or Red Cross rescue station when the "big one" hits.

Then again, maybe I should buy a couple boxes of the chocolate Pop-Tarts just to be on the safe side.

Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins

PS I'm just back from vacation and will be making the rounds to catch up with all of you over the next week.


  1. Well, I imagine the "pink" ones are so popular because of the nutritional value of the "real" strawberries found in each one. LOL.

    Seriously, I can see why the PopTart is popular during a hurricane. When you have no power, it is a food group that appeals to both adults and children, does not need to be heated up and probably appeals to vegetarians everywhere!

    But, I'm with you. Brown sugar ones are the best!

  2. Can I come to your house during 2012?

  3. I am safe from having to test the theory that Pop Tarts are best eaten after a hurricane or an earthquake, we don't get Pop Tarts here!
    What a ludicrious notion... pop tarts indeed.

    Sadly, I like earthquakes, well little ones anyway! I find them thrilling! I know, I'm very weird.

  4. You're back you pop tart - I mean you popped up on my blogroll.

    Always good to prepared. Just a black out or a Chicago blizzard would cause problems for many.

    How do those pop tart craving people toast them without power?

  5. I've been eating pop tarts for as long as I can remember. They are a staple here. Including the "pink ones". And they just opened a specialty store in New York City just for pop tarts.

  6. Which means in case of a huge earthquake, you'll have to eat your pop tart cold. I don't know...I prefer mine toasted in the toaster. :) Welcome back from vacation.

  7. Perhaps the only way to survive a disaster is to get a real sugar high from all those pop tarts!

    Real emergency food must,surely, include chocolate?

    Welcome back - hope you had a great holiday!

  8. Welcome back!
    I do think pink Pop tarts are the best, but in the Cherry flavor. However - have you ever seen the calorie count on one of them. It will scare you into never eating one again!

  9. welcome back...we might as well get a truck load here...my boys love them...hmmm...little cross marketing with the placement of the articles eh...intersting they keep these facts on hand as well...guess it is there way of making sure they take over the world...smiles.

  10. So cold pop tarts are a staple for the storm ravaged. Who'd have thunk?

    Oh good grief - that quake heading would be playing on my mind too. The worst we have here are occasional bad storms in the winter. I have candles, in case the power is cut. Now I'm going to get in some pop tarts...because Wal*Mart said so.

  11. I can also understand the poptart thing. They're not only something you can eat without cooking, and easy to open, but they're in fairly waterproof packs, can be packed easily in an evacuation kit, and everyone likes the taste.

    I know how darn rough it can be to find foods to eat after a hurricane when there's no refrigeration and no energy to cook, and where charcoal is suddenly a hot commodity (if you can get it at all).

    Of course these days I'd just pack a bunch of protein bars, but most people aren't even aware they exist.

    Having survived the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons in FL, this comes as absolutely no surprise to me.

  12. The strange thing to be is that this Pop Tart information was above the fold news, equal to a major earthquake prediction.
    If I were stocking up on Pop Tarts it would be brown sugar ones.

  13. It's sad that a paper like the Times would put this above the fold, just goes to prove that there are no longer journalists in our world, just writers who are paid to sensationalize.

  14. The only justification I can think of for having Pop Tarts in the emergency stash is they are edible with no prep or electricity needed. So if gas and electricity is not available the Pop Tarts would be a better choice than dried pasta or cold canned meat.I've never had a chocolate Pop Tart but I like the brown sugar ones. The nuts would at least provide protein and again no cooking required. I have been hearing for a couple years that southern CA is due a gigantic earthquake, larger than the Northridge quake. Both my daughters live in that area with their families. My younger daughter was right in the middle of the Northridge quake and they lost just about everything. But as you know, things can be replaced, the people we love cannot. How was the vacation? Were you on the go alot or did you get some down time too?

  15. I would say com'on down to my hills and hollers but the Ozarks are not void of earthquakes either. One of the largest in history was in the boot-hill of the Show Me State. We have severe storms, tornadoes and horrific ice storms that take our power out for weeks at a time. I always keep an emergency stash of supplies but dang if I don't have any pink Pop Tarts. Guess that would make me outta vogue according to Wally World standards! Heeehehehe!

    God bless and welcome back girl. Have a marvelous day :o)

  16. I don't understand the need to have this "news" above the fold, but what do I know?

    I prefer the brown sugar Pop-Tarts if I had my druthers. But if I were stuck in a hurricane or other natural disaster I would prefer something a little less sugar-laden...like beanie-weenies, maybe?

  17. Strawberry Pop Tarts?? Gee this stuff I need to know! I mean I must live in the dark ages. I thought pop tarts were simple cardboard with icing on them. Who knew they were a staple?? Maybe I should look into buying stock in them...I mean..I could be a future stock tycoon!! I could make millions!! Bring them on!! Pop Tarts for everyone!!
    Ooops! Sorry...I got a little carried away there. Won't happen again. Well, at least for today!
    Welcome back

  18. I could believe Walmart statistics on Pop-Tarts considering the average Walmart shopper. :-)

  19. Welcome back! Weather prediction seems scary for these days.
    Is better to be prepared how to react in the event of an earthquake, especially if the estimate magnitude might be above 7.

  20. Sad isn't it? I've gone back to work at my son's school. This year I have noon duty which includes a bit of playground supervision, and a bit of lunchroom supervision. Part of my duties for the lunchroom include checking to make sure the kids ate a decent lunch before I dismiss them from the table. I don't like being the food police. You can't force someone to eat. Anyway, I asked a little boy yesterday if he had eaten a sandwich. He said my mom doesn't pack me sandwiches. So I was about to come back with did you have some milk or cheese? Some sort of protein source. Before I could, he opened his bag to prove to me that there was no sandwich. I wanted to cry, but I was not surprised. (And I think this may be the little boy that I heard the aides talking about last year.) His breath smelled like oreos or pudding cups - pure sugar with some chocolate. In his bag, were nothing but wrappers for a bunch of sugary foods. Desserts really. He had eaten it all. His area was clean. I had to say you're dismissed. I don't understand the point of checking. We don't call CPS. I can't even tell that we call the parents. What really made me sad was I had two thoughts. My first one was that's not something an adult packs. That's something a kid packs for his lunch. And then it occurred to me to wonder if his mom didn't pack it. Really? How can you not know what decent nutrition is in this day and age? I don't know if I'll do another year. This part of it is really depressing for me. I might hold out for instructional aide. Even so, they all take lunch room / noon playground, so the teachers can eat. Not sure I'm strong enough.

  21. did you enjoy your time here in NYC? I look forward to seeing/hearing what you did/saw ... did you get to the Pop Tart Cafe on 42nd St just west of Sixth Ave?

  22. Incredible. Strawberry! What's wrong with the brown sugar ones? I'm going to write a letter.

    I just went over to the Times and looked at that article. Yeesh. I'd start packing.

  23. Oh I love me some pop-tarts!! Any flovor will do!

  24. I just mentioned something to English husband about was there a hurricane in Florida? and about Wal mart sending Pop Tarts there. He said - what girls in short skirts! (pop tarts - the British version)

  25. Just think of pink poptarts as comfort food...that last meal before you might die! lol

  26. i love pop tarts but trying to find the ones without frosting is hard

  27. Welcome back Joanna!

    I am sorry but the thought of Pop-Tarts being my go to food in the event of an emergency is frankly pretty disgusting! They are certainly not in my survival kit! There are plenty of healthier food items which do not need to be cooked.

    Did you have fun in New York? I am looking forward to hearing all about your vacation and seeing pictures.

    ~ Tracy

  28. Kraft mac & cheese is ridiculously delicious and now I crave it.

    And, sadly pop tarts.

  29. If they had said the frosted cinnamon ones I could have believed it...but I've never eaten a pink pop tart!

  30. Well... after living in LA for a long time..I totally understand how you feel. I have to say..the fear of a huge snowstorm here does not send shivers but an 8.1 sure does! Ackkkk..my sis is there right along with ya hon!!!
    As for strawberry poptarts...I will admit..I loooove them..would add them to my list of supplies..lol! Not chocolate or cinnamon..but the stawberry! Sigh. Of course all the other stuff you mentioned to ...certainly mac and cheese by kraft!!
    Am so excited that you are going to join us for the Photo Bee...don't worry this one will be fun and easy and not to time consuming! Whoot am happy dancin hon!!! Hugs and love, Sarah

  31. My poor kids consumed an inordinate amount of pop tarts growing up. Well the first two. Second two got wiser parents, fortunately. The toaster strudels came after and pretty much destroyed any pop tart popularity that previously existed.

    We don't buy either anymore. And while very hungry people will eat anything, giving them those masses of sugar and fake frosting seems like torture. Think about the stomach aches. Ugh.

    Sounds like an impromptu advert for WM.

    If you have a big quake you can come up here. 10 hours up I5. :)



  32. Well...you could always move to Minnesota since we don't have earth quakes here. :) Don't buy pop tarts...don't think my little's have ever had them and my older kids a time or two...I suppose they would be better then nothing should there be no electriciy to cook anything. :)

    I hope you had a refreshing time away! :) XX

  33. Yuck--bad tasting or even tasteless journalism! I don't even think I ever ate a Pop Tart, and I am not much interested in trying one. What a weird publicity stunt to try to convince us that people just can't wait for their Pop Tarts in an emergency. (But then again, it could be the case for all I know, organic nerd that I am). I remember people trying to discourage me from moving to the West coast in 1971 because it was feared that the whole place would sink into the sea. Nature moves at a different pace from humans.

    I hope you are safe from earthquakes.

  34. Okay, several things come to mind. First, you can always come and stay in my guest bedroom. ALWAYS...hell it's not that much further from Ohio. We do not have those stupid things here. Yet.

    Next, Michael and I both have an emergency pack ready to go. We're even going to put one together for the dogs. They're on a shelf, ready should we ever have to grab and go.

    Finally, pop tarts are easy to take along and keep sealed...but I'm with you on the choice, except that, if you've ever eaten one of the chocolate ones, or the cinnamon ones cold? You'd know the answer as to why not them. Yuckers.

    And, do not dis the Kraft! It's comfort food and takes no ingredients to make. And, although I make a mean mac and cheese from scratch, it goes unappreciated by my hubby who will always prefer the Blue Box...and I'm over huffing about that.

    Come on and stay here. I'll give you Mac & Cheese and lots of hugs.

    Snarky Sister

  35. I think I'd rather let the quake take me, than to be force-fed pop-tarts, be them pink, brown, or purple-polka-dot! (Shudder)

    Glad to see you back, how was the trip? We missed 'ya!

  36. You dear girl, please don't worry. Eating pink pop tarts will be the last of your worries should an earthquake of that magnitude hit, and you'll deal with it then. You make an excellent point though, "food" for thought, hehe.

  37. The thought of earthquakes scares me too.

    Question #1:
    What kind of a slow news day does it have to be to have a story about pink poptarts above the fold?

    Question #2:
    Do you think we should be thankful that it was a slow news day?

  38. I was so relieved to see you dismiss Pop-Tarts as a form of food. Ugh! My natural disaster phobia is tornados--after repeated tornado drills in school, they managed to hammer home the fact that TORNADOS ARE COMING FOR YOU AND YOU HAVE TWO MINUTES TO GET TO SAFETY DON'T FORGET THE CAT!!!!

    I still find myself pacing between the window and the tv whenever there's a heavy thunderstorm. But it never crossed my mind to stock my bathtub with pink Pop-Tarts.

  39. O M Goodness, where's my soap box again... We didn't get pink pop tarts...LOL too funny great post. I really appreciate you coming by and visiting when I had the soap box out and was screaming from it!! Thankyou

  40. that's the oddest thing I've heard all week! Faux sugar treats that taste like plastic are people's comfort food of choice? The apocalypse is upon us.

  41. I hope these reporters are wrong. (And I agree with the comment about sensationalizing!) Not sure I could live on PopTarts, either ... Be safe, JJ!

  42. Wait, what part of L.A. u talkin' about? the last big one was in Northridge, which is not close to L.A. I'm 20 min. north of Northridge and we were hit pretty bad.

  43. How about this -- if the big one hits, just beg, borrow, steal your way East to me and I promise to feed and comfort you all without a single Pop Tart.

    I loved living in SF but not having grown a West Coaster, I was always worried about the "Big One". But since having left the big Cali, Texas has had Allison, Rita, and Ike so I'm not sure that I am any better off.

    Traci(formerly 38traci)

  44. How very CNNish. Underlying message?.. stock up on pop tarts for the big one is coming? Geesh.

    Welcome back. ;)

  45. Welcome back Joanna and I hope you enjoyed your vacation.
    That is some threat on the horizon and I do hope it has been overstated and will not manifest into a ginormous earthquake or any earthquake of any intensity. I would think once such a thing occurs forget the eating people's anal nearve would go and never mind the Pop Tart it would be Pop Farts all round. LOL

    Glad you are back ~ Eddie

  46. I'm nobody's health food nazi by any stretch, but truly, I would rather be a storm casualty than have to eat even one pink pop tart.

  47. my kids have never had a pop tart. : ) big smile.
    now, the mac and cheese- we can get down on some of that. lol

  48. No! I agree with you. If I was in an earthquake, my survival kit would probably not include pink Pop-tarts. If I would need to stock a shelter, it would probably include the kind of food you could sink your teeth into. Oh, and lots of water. Nope! I don't see Kellogg's taking residence up with me in that shelter.

  49. Pop Tarts? Maybe FEMA likes the fact that they last 50 years and can be used as flotation devices. Who knows?

    As a native Californian who has been an Okie for the last 16 years, I can honestly say I will take a tornado over an earthquake any day of the week.

    I feel for ya, JJ.

  50. I can't say pop-tarts of any flavor would be my food of choice in the aftermath of a natural disaster. I believe I'd stock up on wine instead. :-)

  51. I really don't care for Pop tarts. How would you cook your mac and cheese if the electricity and gas are off (which usually happens in large natural disasters)? I don't keep "fraidy hole" food as we have tornado's here and they'd just blow away. Guess I should keep something handy in case I am in the basement and the house has blown over and blocks the basement stairs. We are listed with the city as having a basement and they will look for me there. Just don't know how long it would take them to get around to my neighborhood.

  52. I think I would stop reading the LA Times! I hope the big one is not anytime soon. Funny about the Poptarts that is totally my stress comfort food! Chocolate though!! Have a wonderful labor day weekend!

  53. Forget the chocolate Pop Tarts just get some good ol' chocolate.


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