Tomato Soup and Stuff

August 12, 2016

 

I try to avoid ranting and attempt to maintain a calm and rational state of mind. Sorry, can't do that here. Gotta rant.

We didn't have a lot of money when I was a kid. Oh, who am I kidding? We were poor. I was raised by a single mom with three kids. To her everlasting credit, I never knew we were poor, and I don't remember wanting for anything. Thanks mom! However, I don't think anyone who knew her would ever accuse her of being a great cook. Sorry mom!

When I was sick, she always made me tomato soup and a tuna fish sandwich. Okay, maybe not what you'd give a sick kid today, but I loved it. A few years ago, I didn't feel well and decided I should treat myself to the same thing my mom used to give me. Campbell's Tomato Soup and Bumble Bee 100% Solid White Albacore packed in water.

I tried the soup. WTF? It tasted terrible. I then opened the tuna. Wait, where are the delicious white chunks of tuna I remembered? This looks darker, and more like chunk tuna. Check the can: Yup, it's the right can, but what happened?

I did some research and found that in 2009, Campbell's decided to mess with their recipe for tomato soup. Some crap about changing consumer tastes. Well, my tastes didn't change. I hated the new soup, and no, it didn't make me feel better.

I checked the Consumer Affairs website, and they have 261 complaints about Bumble Bee 100% Solid White Albacore Tuna. These folks hate it too. It's not the same, and I could find no response from the company about what they're now putting in the can. It's probably some genetically modified tilapia engineered to look like tuna.

Back to Campbell's. One of my favorite meals growing up was simply browned hamburger mixed in with a can of Franco American Spaghetti. Yeah, yeah, I know, but I loved it.

Guess what? Campbell's owned the Franco American brand, and in 2004 they started to phase it out in favor of their own canned spaghetti. What happened? By 2009 it was gone and they changed the recipe. They did the same thing they’d done to their tomato soup. They ruined it!

Okay, Campbell's and Bumble Bee, I have a question for you. Now what the hell am I supposed to do when I get sick? You've ripped my childhood comfort food apart and torn it from my desperately clawing hands. When I was younger and got sick, I always had the two of you to look forward to. I can still see and smell the bowl of tomato soup my mother would bring me with a tuna sandwich on the side. Even better, it came with Premium Saltine Crackers. If you've read my blog on Clam Chowda, you'll know that, for me, there are no other crackers.

Now I look at the bowl and the color’s not the same, the smell isn't the same, and the taste … fahgetaboutit. I can't even eat tuna anymore. And my Franco American Spaghetti with hamburger …

What's the matter with you guys? Can't you learn from Coke? Coke has all kinds of line extensions: New Coke, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Coke with lemon, Coke with magic mushrooms. When they made all these, they kept the original Coke for those of us who didn't want to change. I'll admit that it's hard to find Coke in bottles, which is how it should be packaged, but you can't have everything.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don't like change. My company runs on a Filemaker database that I wrote in 1992. I'm still using Filemaker, and I only upgrade when my version won't run on the new computers. I think I'm using Filemaker 11, and they're up to Filemaker 1,846.0 or something crazy like that. I won't upgrade because it still works and it works just fine, thank you.

Someday I'm probably going to be sick again, and I'm going to long for my tomato soup and tuna sandwich. They won't be there. I've been abandoned in my hour of need. Cast adrift in a sea of changing consumer tastes.

So listen up Campbell's and Bumble Bee. I'm devastated. My life just isn't the same anymore. I feel like my girlfriend changed her hair color and is now dating other men. You may think I'm overreacting. If you do, you probably like rap music.

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