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applehome | Oct 10, 2008 01:23 PM

You're right in the middle of a major change, and you need another New Boards recommendation or suggestion right now like you need a hole in the head. And yet, I'd like to make one. Please maybe put a post-it on this and keep it for consideration later.

One of the best things you did for my blood pressure was to create the National Chains board. It separates those that think that Chains are chowhoundish and those that don't. It's not so much a volume issue (although these threads used to go on, and on, and on...), but rather a change that keeps acrimony and snarkyness from sneaking into our otherwise rational and informative conversations.

Something of the same kind needs to be done for mass-production, packaged foods. There are those that celebrate Kraft Mac'n Cheese and there are those that think of this kind of mindless pablum as a real deterrent to learning more about deliciousness. As with the chains threads before the current manifestation, these topics sneak up on us, so it isn't always as easy as simply seeing a title and ignoring the thread in order to ignore the pitched battles. We have something to say that we think of as being a contribution, and before you know it, we're locking horns with someone about their wasted childhood, spent eating Campbell's soup out of a can.

I recommend that we change the National Chains category to include National Chains and Packaged Foods. Let those that want to discuss the rankings of national peanut butter brands and the infinite and complex layers of taste inherent in the Colonel's 11 spices, have at it in the privacy and comfort of their own kind, with no snark. Keep temptation away from those of us that feel that you have to become an adult, sometime after you're 35, anyway.

This would make it easier for the more rational types to ignore these nearly religious ravings, just as we do now for the people who worship at Olive Garden. Let them preach to the choir. Let them hallelujah and huzzah to their heart's delight. In fact, there is clearly a synergy between those that think chains are delicious, and those that think that prepared mass-market foods are similarly delicious - I've often found them to be one and the same. Perhaps, extending the board in this way would further enhance their community - allowing for the improved cross-cultural flow of information between those that have a deep understanding of Kraft Mac'nCheese and those that know that you really do deserve a break today, at McDonald's.

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