Hard to be cool eating lunch from a paper bag
BY COLLEEN ALMEIDA SMITH World Assistant Editor
Monday, August 13, 2012
8/13/12 at 6:19 AM
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Even now I like to tease my mom about my grade-school lunch box.
As far back as I can remember, she packed lunches for me and my brothers in brown paper bags. Every day after eating our lunches, we threw our trash away, folded up our bags and brought them home for the next day's lunch.
Meanwhile, all around us our friends had metal lunch boxes adorned with characters from "Star Wars," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Scooby-Doo" or Strawberry Shortcake. They were sleek and modern, and every year the kids had a new one to match the latest craze.
For me, the brown bag became an ever-present symbol of how uncool I was.
On the eve of my fifth-grade year, I issued a declaration: I had to have a lunch box. No more paper bags for me.
After a trip to Walmart for school supplies, my mom returned to unveil my new lunch box. It was big. It was red. It was plastic.
Instead of the cute metal lunch box with the pop culture characters that I had dreamed of, I had a sewing box. I was mortified. I think I cried. I probably carried my lunch in it once or twice, and then I went back to brown paper bags.
A few years later, when my youngest brother asked for a lunch box, he got the metal lunch box - complete with a thermos - that I had dreamed of. I always knew she liked him best.
Ready Pac Foods Inc. is recalling apples shipped to 36 U.S. states for restaurants owned by McDonald's Corp. and stores including Wegmans Food Markets Inc. because of potential contamination from the bacterium listeria.
Ready Pac's Missa Bay unit voluntarily recalled 293,488 cases and 296,224 individually distributed units of fruit, vegetable and sandwich products containing the apples, the Irwindale, Calif.-based company said in a statement. The products are being recalled in Oklahoma, according to the Ready Pac recall site.
The apples are also sold as slices at fast-food restaurants including Burger King Worldwide Inc. eateries, Ready Pac said.
Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious or life-threatening illness. Symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, nausea or diarrhea. The recall is being issued because listeria was found on equipment used by Missa Bay.
- ANNA EDNEY, Bloomberg News
Kids' lunch boxes are a statement of cool. STEPHEN PINGRY / Tulsa World