perhaps it does matter very much

The contents of our cupboards here at TexasNorth are slowly changing. As boxes and jars empty out, they are steadily being replaced with the new Meijer Organic line. Our local hometown grocer has made some fantastic strides in their generic brand, now offering everything from gorgeous free recipe cards in the vegetable section to over 200 options of organic foods. Super great. So, out go the name brand Cheerios…and on to the yummy Meijer version. Honey, graham crackers (which we need to buy stock in apparently), mac and cheese, butter, milk… everything. Lovely.

This prompted a friendly argument with Kristin recently. We were discussing the shower-foot-washing issue (see December 7, 2006), and she then brought up the topic of branding and how certain things were acceptable generic and certain things were absolutely not. My immediate response was, “Please. Get over yourself. You’re so young. It’s all the same.” And then… then, friends, the spotlight turned to me. And, I have to tell you. Way deep down where my staunchest opinions lay, I found some war-worthy feelings hidden… living… thriving.

I suppose it depends on what you’re talking about, so let’s be specific…
Saltines? I don’t so much care.
Peanut Butter? Well, that has to be Jif. I’m not going to argue about it. Jif.
Corn? Well, generic is fine for me there.
Syrup? We’re only discussing Log Cabin. Of course, bed and breakfast, homemade true maple syrup is 101% acceptable, but I’m not in Vermont a whole lot, so Log Cabin.
Butter needs to be REAL butter, not the tub “tastes like” stuff, but generic is fine for me here.
Tuna? Well, StarKist, of course. Please. Their tuna is obviously the best and most dolphin friendly. I know this because their packaging is nice.
Cream of Wheat lives forever close to my heart. Just the sight of that box makes me warm and happy. Generic hot cereal kinda freaks me out.
toothpaste: (bravo, Shanna, for the most obvious brand bias category) Crest. Crest Crest Crest.

In the non-food department, things tend to get a little ridiculous… but we’re going with honesty here. All for no good informed-consumer reason…just deep-rooted personal brand bias.
Chevy over Dodge
Toyota over Honda
Target over K-Mart
AT&T over MCI
McDonalds over Burger King

I simply must know what you think. Confess your snobbery immediately.

PS: People, maybe I AM superwoman. akk. That’s Wonder Woman up there… but aren’t they related? Dude- my shoes. I’d give anything to have those back.


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

27 responses to “perhaps it does matter very much

  • diane

    Tostitos Chips and Salsa.
    They were made for each other so why separate them?

    If you don’t have Tositos then don’t bother serving Chips and Salsa.

    That’s all I have to say about that.

  • CortneyTree

    My bestest buddy and I were JUST having this conversation this weekend! I buy a lot of store brands, I really truly do, but, YES, I am a total snob about some things.

    I am 100% with you on Peanut butter, Jif is just plain all there is.

    Fritos are the only acceptable corn chips (though on tortilla chips, I have a Santitas bias–just as good as Tostitos and SO MUCH cheaper–but not technically a *store* brand).

    Velveeta, for that matter, which I never used to buy until I married into a family that eats Ro-tel dip as a meal.

    Hmmm, I’m going to have to keep thinking, I know I have more, Matt teases me about them all the time, but my mind is blank today…

    OH, and this is very telling of my snobbery baseline–I like Target, but our SuperTarget is not close to where we live (soon to be changing, I hope), so for most of my food runs, I go to our little local store, Food City. FC has *two* generic brands, their store-themed Food Club, which I will buy, and the slightly cheaper “ValueTime”, which I will not buy. Something about the dollar-store look of the ValueTime turns me off entirely. Matt thinks I’m crazy.

  • CortneyTree

    Oh, and also, I HAD that Wonder Woman outfit, and I wore it under everything, all the time. You know, just in case I needed to fight crime at a moments notice.

  • KatieKate

    Cort, you are so NOT crazy. I totally understand.

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    Hmmm Ever since I saw Dr Oz on GMA Peanut butter is only Natural for us. I will try to find the article to send to you but apparently PB and Graham crackers (Sorry) carry the four ingredients in life we truly DO NOT need to eat.Especially when all four are put together. This being said Rylie Jayne does eat Graham sticks we just try to limit them.

    Target for sure.

    Have you really ever tried generic syrup….not good in my opinion.

    Honda over toyota, Subaru over both….sorry no american cars in there, I know thats awful!

    I am going to think on the rest…Later

  • thekooiet

    I totally agree about the Log Cabin, can anything else be called syrup?

    Cereals…See growing up, we were never allowed to pick out the not-so-good-for-you cereals. So now, naturally, I sometimes allow the junk to jump into my cart all on its own. I’m a huge fan of Capitan Crunch with Crunch Berries and Fruity Pebbles. It just has to be the name brand…have you ever tasted “Fruity Treasures”? It tastes like iron supplements…seriously gross.

    Processed cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches always has to be Kraft Sharp Cheddar.

    Mac ‘n Cheese…besides homemade, it just hast to be Kraft. (I think I just like Kraft.)

    Target or Walmart….Just thinking about Walmart makes me feel like I need to brush my teeth five times in a row. We had a Super Target where we used to live, oh how I loved that store.

    Wendy’s is my fast food of choice…I was informed that they are the only chain who does not have any trans fats in their food. (not that I really care about that, I like fat.) I just like their Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

    What about clothing? Hmmmm, that’s another subject entirely.

    By the way…I think I have a secret crush on you too…but, alas, it’s not a secret anymore. 🙂

  • KatieKate

    that’s funny…
    well, a lot of things are funny- you people crack me up but it’s nice to know I’m not the only crazy out there…

    but at home home on the range, there is no target…it’s only KMart or WalMart- and WalMart is the nice, bright cheery place. KMart is Ghet-TOE… dark and dirty and orphnan kittens running around barefoot in the parking lot ghetto. But here, it’s definitely WalMart that’s sketchy. True true.

  • Shanna, Adam and Gracen

    Big question, Katie. That means I have to think, and I have very stupid, fragile pregnancy brain that makes it exceptionally difficult. Here’s a go at it:

    1. Toyota over ALL others, except for Jeeps. But Jeeps are in a special league of their own and don’t really count in the car lineup. Did Jess really put a Honda over a Toyota?!

    2. Harris Teeter has their store brand, but now has their ORGANIC store brand, so I’m trying to convert to that if possible.

    3. Processed cheese: Boredon’s. I don’t know if it’s any better, but I’m a creature of habit, and I know it doesn’t leave a funny aftertaste. You really just don’t know what you’ll get with the other ones.

    4. Yogurt: Stoneyfield Farms–worth the extra investment!!

    5. Dogfood: California Natural

    6. Peanut butter: JIF. I’ve tried really, really, really hard to like the natrual kind. I even crush it myself at the healthfood stores, but it just doesn’t make me happy like the true one. I’ve stopped fighting it.

    7. Chef Boyaredee. I don’t want to talk about it
    cause maybe I have a problem with it, but the generics or organic versions of any of these lovely canned pastas and pseudo-meats make you throw up.

    8. Huggies Natural Fit Diapers. Again, I’ve tried ALL, including the natural ones, and I still heart these the most.

    9. Tom’s of Maine toothepaste. I actually hate it at the moment, but it’s not the toothepaste’s fault.

    10. And I am ethically opposed to going to Wal-Mart. I’m sure that Target is probably not so different, but it’s packaged so much more nicely.

  • Julie & Doug

    Maries over Real Food
    Little Bohemia over the mall
    Marshalls over TJ Maxx
    Noordstrom Rack over Marshalls
    1 speeds over 10 speeds
    Old childrens books over new
    Doritos over anything else edible

    That’s about it. I love how you can make me be superficial – in a beautiful honest sort of way.

  • the bantam menace

    I used to maintain a list of my brand loyalties…there weren’t many, but it was fun to keep a list! have I ever mentioned how much I love to make lists? here’s my newest list:

    1. I don’t have to wear these anymore for work, but when it comes to nylons (or “hose”) i only wear JCPenney brand. everything else is only good for one use and feels nasty.

    2. my dad will only use Land-O-Lakes real butter. when they were down visiting this weekend we had to make a special trip to Meijer to get it.

    3. my notebooks MUST be Mead. though I recently caved and bought a couple Meijer brand notebooks because I just had to have a couple notebooks. red of course.

    4. pens must be BIC crystals. there’s a strange sort of comfort I get when looking at, holding, or writing with these pens. any color. I bought a whole pack of red ones last year.

    5. there’s a particular mechanical pencil I LOVE (and will use no other kind) but I can’t recall off the top of my head what brand it is. probably bic. one of my coworkers back in UPS-land referred to them as “horse legs.” unfortunately, I thought he was referring to our other coworker, Gary, so THAT was something of a “moment.”

    6. when it comes to vehicles it’s gotta be jeep. but you saw that coming.

    7. UPS over Fedex.

    8. Speedway gas over shell

  • the bantam menace

    I forgot these:

    beaners (biggby’s) over starbucks
    el matador chips over all other chips

  • KatieKate

    oooooh, Marie…that is a great GREAT list!!! Totally UPS over FedEx. Why do I have an opinion about that??? Doesn’t matter. I do.

    I have to say, though. I’ll drive an extra mile to find a Shell Station before I’ll pull into a Speedway or Marathon. Snob, I know.

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    ohhhhhh UPS over Federal Express ground. Fed Ex over both…

    Kroger makes a fabulous version of shake n bake… Much better then the name brand.

    We love shake in bake.

  • the bantam menace

    i could go on and on for why I choose UPS over fedex, but my husband would be terribly embarrassed of me! hehehe

    and faro’s pizza over papa john’s. also over any other pizza in the galaxy. I feel strongly about faro’s.

    I seriously was in the middle of working and it hit me: “faro’s! faro’s! faro’s! ooh, faro’s!”

  • jimmy

    Meijers sells Mich made and local Maple syrup. Much better then Vermont. Log Cabin if not the “real” thing.

  • KatieKate

    It is so nice to know I can have pancakes at so many of your houses and you’ll have the right syrup.

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    Ok, so likely Toyota over honda i was just thinking minivans and i heart the odessey…. i know….seriously are we thinking of minivans?!

  • OurMrsMikrut

    First, I need to play a round of “I Second That Emotion”:
    AMEN to Target
    AMEN to Stonyfield Farms yogurt
    AMEN to El Matador chips (local! woohoo!)
    AMEN to real-deal, from-the-tree maple syrup. I buy it from my hairdresser. She also sells Tastefully Simple. She’s quite the enterprising woman.
    Value Time foods ARE scary.
    And Wal-Mart makes me want to not only brush my teeth obsessively, but grossly overcompensate by getting a ridiculously pretentious spa pedicure. (I should note: NOT in the Wal-Mart nail salon.)

    Speedway over BP. I will go a mile out of my way to avoid Butt Plug.
    ANYTHING ELSE over GM. That’s saying a lot, coming from a Lansing girl.
    Meijer fudge bars over Aldi fudge bars
    Era over Dynamo (I have just come to terms with this)
    Ice Mountain over Dasani (really this is spring vs. purified)
    Kava House over Beaners (sorry, Rie)
    Saucony over Nike
    Speedo over TYR, Arena, Nike, or any other swimwear brand.

    Josh’s votes – Plochmann’s mustard, Pioneer audio equipment, Fender guitars, Peavey amps, Donlop pics, anything other than Armour corned beef hash.

  • KatieKate

    This is actually from my Mamma, who is coming to terms with typing a very long reply adn then realizing she couldn’t post because she doesn’t have a Google account.

    And you people are HYSTERICAL.

    We won’t touch the car issue….
    Snap-On over any tool made in China
    Bernina or Elna sewing machines over all….
    A quilt store over any other fabric store…won’t even mention Wal-Mart unless it is crafts.
    Try Albacore white tuna , you won’t go back…
    Progresso canned soup over Chunky
    envelope Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (made fresh)
    Daddy wants it known he says DOGS over cats
    Dogs and goats over cats for me
    LeSuer peas over all in summer salads
    and one more thing……
    GO INDIANS!!!!

  • sunday

    man i am coming late on this one. okay jess~ its shake n bake, and i helped. sorry.
    on my word, we have a honda and a toyota and i will NEVER own another subaru.
    I am a total snob about everything. if i could, and if we had one, i would buy everything at whole foods. i will only go to target (but i won’t register there-see snob). i only want chick-fil-a, except when i want a frosty from wendy’s. land-o-lakes for us only, cloth napkins over paper, i did find a good organic peanut butter- harvest farms. very good. i will go out of my way to get ingles gas, but never buy laura lynn (their product) unless it comes to charcoal. only Viva paper towels when i am not using my own cloth towels. dial soap. aveda shampoo unless i can’t afford it then it is pantene. i like pampers over huggies, we always have a blow out in huggies. 300+ thread count sheets. i am even a snop about sushi restaurants and will not try other people’s sushi places. oh katie you are bringing out the snob in me. i am sure i will think all day about this and want to come back and keep posting, and i just thought about the washing your feet post when i was in the shower scrubbing my feet laughing. i am getting a pedicure tonight just b/c of that post a year ago. i will try not to come back and leave a comment as this one is WAY too long.

  • thekooiet

    I feel for your mamma….and for moms with mean babies who hit the delete keys.

    Gosh, we are all a bunch of materialistic snobs, but hilariously honest ones at that!

    How ’bout Mac over pc…I did say OVER for a very important reason…it’s above all.

    This is so fun Kate! Thank-you for posting the thoughts of your way cool, awesome, beautiful, silly, amazing heart. I heart you!

  • the bantam menace

    sox aren’t down yet…they have a history of coming back, you know…

    mac over PC, for sure jami!
    victorinox over all other bags and tools
    snap-on — I remember the delivery guy coming to my dad’s shop every week in his delivery truck!! Yay!
    HP over lexmark (blech)
    mizuno over adidas
    cats over dogs

    I have too much time on my hands.

  • sunday

    what can brown do for you?

  • Shanna, Adam and Gracen

    this is a public service anouncement:

    after reading sunday’s post and seeing that she too is a Viva paper towel fan, i thought the world should know of their fabulousness. a few years ago, i had a student complete a science fair project on the absorbancy of paper towels. Viva won by a landslide. i had never even heard of them at the time. the great thing about them is that you can get them in select-a-size, so you end up using FAR less and you really can use and reuse them. and they’re SOOO soft (good for dirty/crusty faces). one roll last us a month, if not longer. so, people, for you and for the earth, go get some Viva. okie-dokie.

  • OurMrsMikrut

    Mama says YES on 300+ thread count sheets.

    And yes, I totally stole that expression from Julie Harkless.

  • ebadrina

    OK, a couple of preferences:

    Definitely Mac over PC.
    Gmail over Hotmail.
    Lightly starched over plain dress shirts.
    Under Armor over Nike.
    Illy coffee beans over anything else.
    Red wine over white.
    Rainbow flip flops over Reefs.
    NL over AL.
    College football over pro.
    Pecans and almonds over vegetables.
    Fruit over pecans and almonds.
    Beef over fruit.
    Nerd Ropes over beef (barely).
    Vitamin Water over soft drinks/pop/soda/Coke.


  • Danny and Sarah

    Yes, Sarah and I still eat at the table in the picture.

talk to me

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