The Math and Zen of Frozen Burritos

Like many of my geek colleagues, I’m not much of a fancy food guy. I was shopping for some frozen burritos (pretty much haute cuisine for me) and was fascinated by the packaging.

The first thing I always check when I’m buying food is the microwave time. No microwave instructions, no sale. Sure enough, boldly displayed on the front of the package was “Microwave Ready in 1:45”.


But I love to read. Anything. Even frozen burrito packaging. So I flipped the package over and saw “Cooking instructions: 1 minute 15 seconds.” Hmm. A paradox. Had I somehow slipped to a parallel dimension in the Multiverse?


No. I flipped back to the front and it still read “1:45” so I was still in my multiverse. OK. So I checked out some of the other math on the package. “America’s #1 Frozen Burritos” with an asterisk. After some hunting I found the source of this claim: Frozen Burritos $ Volume, 26 weeks ending Sept. 6, 2014. OK, I believe them.

Next: “Good source of protein”. Perhaps, but the ingredients also list Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Metabisulfite, L-Cysteine, and Dicalcium Phosphate. Yummy!

Also: when cooking, “product temperature must reach 161o F.” Hmm, 161 degrees, not 160 degrees or 165 degrees. OK. I love precision.

Well, there was lots more and reading the frozen burrito wrapper kept me chuckling to myself for a good 10 minutes in the frozen foods aisle (and almost certainly scaring everyone away from that aisle while I was there).

I wonder if any of the other selfs in the other multiverses read frozen burrito wrappers today?

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2 Responses to The Math and Zen of Frozen Burritos

  1. Greg Russell says:

    Perhaps the 30 second difference is the time taken by the average consumer to compare the photograph on the packaging with the horrible reality festering in the microwave.

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