Life on the frozen-food-tasting line


Such hate for frozen food. I do not understand this venom.

When faced with a shipping/preservation method that threatens to lower end-user satisfaction, a company takes a deliberate, structured approach to maximizing enjoyment. Rather than saying “but this old way is how we always did things,” or just guessing at a solution, they have a calculated, dare I say scientific approach to the situation. Isn’t that exactly the sort of mindset BB typically encourages?

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I didn’t see any hate? It was just a guy describing a job none of knew (at least I didn’t) existed and how weird it is. But I don’t think anyone was hating the frozen food industry…?

And that animal bile, is likely rennet. Rennet is used in the production of curds. Rennet is cows stomach. I had no idea that other animals stomachs were used in the production of cheese… inneresting!


I know at least two people would love that job.

I got that from Cory’s cardboard comment.

Rennet is usually taken from a Calf’s stomach, but its present in pretty much any mammal especially juveniles.

Apparently you’re supposed to match the species of the rennet to the species of the milk. There’s also a bunch of non-animal based alternatives. I know some traditional cheeses are coagulated with thistle, and things like ricotta are typically made with an acid.

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But if you read the article that’s actually one of the things he’s testing for. That they do “decide how much cardboard taste is too much” There’s less snark than you would think.

“One aromatic that was fun to pick out was “cardboard”—an actual aromatic on the ballot—and to compare we had cups of water with brown paper towels in them.”


As the banana said, thats an actual flavour component they have to grade, it’s not a comment on the quality of food. They made them drink water with paper towels in it as a comparison.

Read the whole article, it’s really good.



I read old cookbooks ( and many have recipes for cheese but they all call for “calves stomach” ie. rennet.

I had no idea that other milks would use other rennets… it stands to reason they’d use every part of the animal, but very interesting!

Such contempt for the worker.
Further, contempt for the consumer.
Contempt for everyone, except the shareholders; unless, of course, they ask for something that would cost the executives.

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contempt? how so?

they have a product, food. they need to make it taste as good as they can and make it as cheap as they can to get it to as many people as they can. taste testing is a process to, as well as possible, rate the taste of the product. making sure it tastes good is hardly contempt for the customer…it’s what you SHOULD do as a food company. making sure it’s cheap is also what you should do, it makes it easier for the customer to buy it. it is hard on the worker sure, but that’s why they get PAYED. work often comes with hardships. RMI, callouses, eye strain, blisters. these are things that happen and it’s why we mandate employers provide insurance.

this shows no signs of contempt, nor caring…this shows signs of business. they make a product, you buy the product, everyone’s happy. you don’t like the product, you don’t buy the product, maybe they make a better product you do buy.

this isn’t inherently wrong, its just neutral.


Frozen meals, not frozen food.

And no, I don’t think that it’s that’s easy to reconcile this application of scientific methods with Boing Boing.

The people of BB seem to be aware that it is a means to an end, not an end in itself. It’s perfectly possible to apply the scientific method with neither ethics nor morals in mind.

In this case, it’s merely being used to find the cheapest way to sell cheap meals to make money.

Neutral Good, or Neutral Evil?

Chaotic neutral.

To be fair, not inviting them to the company party is a little contemptuous, no?

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Hey, don’t go conflating my favourite alignment with frozen ready-meals!

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It’s a strange thread of cultural elitism that runs through a lot of otherwise progressive circles. You see the same reaction to fast food–I once saw a list of 100 iconic/unusual foods, and there were people saying “I’d like to try the cheese with live maggots in it sometime, but a Big Mac? Ewww! No! Disgusting!” It’s bizarre.

Sometimes, people don’t have a lot of money, but they also don’t have the time or energy or skill or access to cook for themselves. These people need to eat too. There’s nothing wrong with trying to optimize both the price and the tastiness of eating poor.


Careful, we’ve had awful knock down drag out fights round here about “poor food”! For the love of god don’t mention rice cookers!


I’d argue neither Maccy D’s, or 1[currency unit] ready meals do that…

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