Friday, October 11, 2013

Well, Ain't That Desheet!

Lately it seems like all I do is replace toilet paper rolls.  As soon as I put a new roll on, someone is hollering for another one.  Is it really possible for a family of 4 to go through this much toilet paper?

desheet, bulking,

This was seriously starting to bother me because I felt like the cashiers at the grocery store were thinking "You're buying another case pack of toilet paper?!  Really?!  Good heavens woman! Lay off the fiber!".  With the price of toilet paper climbing every month and eating into our budget, we really needed to get to the "bottom" of this problem.

I enlisted the aid of my husband.  We checked the kids' rooms for toilet paper projects, and the dog's hiding places thinking she may have grabbed a wad to shred in private.  Our search turned up nothing.  Then, just as we gave up hope of figuring out this mystery, my husband had to change yet another roll of toilet paper and discovered the secret!

"We've been desheeted.", he announced quite confidently.  "Excuse me?!  Why are you using that kind of language?", I replied.  He smiled and held up the new roll of toilet paper and pointed to the cardboard tube and said "No, we've been de-sheeted".  The circumference of the cardboard tube which the toilet paper is wound on was considerably bigger than before, but the overall size of the roll was still the same.

I was shocked and, to be honest, a bit outraged.  When you start messing around with a person's toilet paper, that's just plain wrong.  A quick Google search turned up answers.  The manufacturers are justifying pulling desheet over the consumer's eyes by saying they are "bulking up" their products.  Apparently this bulking up is supposed to help you get a cleaner.... ahem...  wipe by using fewer sheets and thus reducing waste.

The manufacturers are probably thinking this kind of change is purely business and the consumer shouldn't take it personally.  When you are in the bathroom at your most vulnerable with your pants around your ankles and you run out of toilet paper because some big wig wants more profit in his coffers, it becomes personal. It's like booking The Incredible Hulk for an appearance at a body-building seminar and getting Pee Wee Herman instead.

But, my husband and I are always game to try and be a greener family so we sat our children down to discuss this toilet paper issue and explained to them that we wanted them to go green.  Their expressions of horror and the shouts of "Ewwww!!!  Gross!!!!" let us know we probably worded that wrong.  

When we all sat down and started discussing the situation, we made some additional observations.  The number of tissues you get in a box has dropped by 15% or more.  Of course they left the box the same size so the changes are much less noticable.  I guess we're supposed to feel better because they say the tissues are now stronger and supposedly better able to contain a sneeze.  Anyone who has ever dealt with a toddler with a head cold knows there is no tissue strong enough or big enough to contain those sneezes.

My husband brought up how he likes granola bars and that I had bought a package for him recently.  The box was the same size it has always been, as were the wrappers on the bars.  When he opened the wrapper though, he was surprised to discover the bar was 1/3 smaller than it used to be.

Being somewhat disgusted with that, he decided to try the new protein granola bars.  Upon opening that box, he discovered there were only 5 bars instead of the 6 you get with the regular granola bars.  If the manufacturers can call their reduction in paper products "desheeting", then I think we should be able to call this reduction in food quantities "shrinkage".

Recently I bought a package of chicken fried chicken.  The package said it had 5 servings and our family of 4 had an extra person for dinner that evening, so I thought I was all set.  When I got the package home and opened it up, it only had 4 chicken patties.  I guess 4 people were supposed to share 1/4 of their patties so the 5th person would have something to eat.  I've heard of wealth redistribution but this was my first taste of "food redistribution".

Desheeting, shrinkage, redistribution are all synonymous with the same idea:  buyer beware.  Who'd have thought that in this day and age of more information and greater openness, we'd have to be more vigilant about the products we buy because of tampering.  Not tampering by the lone crazy person bent on injuring someone, but tampering by the manufacturer who is trying to increase his bottom line by not being up-front with the changes they've made to the products you've been buying for years.

by:  Christie Bielss

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