Is Lubbock Headed for a Ketchup Shortage?
To answer the question, we now present a short lesson in the term "cause and effect." May we present the above image as Exhibit A?
That fat stack of pre-packaged pureed tomato, salt, water and other preservatives was placed in my McBag yesterday, without prompting, which tells me that in this particular fast food concern, there's no fear of a mass ketchup exodus, similar to the Great Toilet Paper Grab of Mid-2020. At least, not here in Lubbock.
According to an article from CNN, some of the issues could be that many more ketchup packets than usual were being handed out when restaurants switched to take-out only during the pandemic, with no dine-in customers to use the traditional ketchup bottles provided.
Perhaps, however, the perceived ketchup deficiency is not due to a lack of tomato supply, disease or pandemic panic buying. Instead, it may be due to the fact that they put so much of it into convenient small packages that get inevitably saved, tossed or lost for years in between the seats of a Honda Civic, to slowly ferment at 130 degrees in the summertime. Even if we don't want any ketchup, we inevitably wind up in a battle of wills at the Drive-Thru.
"Can I get you some ketchup?"
"Are you SURE?"
"Yeah, I'm good. Don't need any ketchup."
"Do you REEEEEALLLLY mean that?"
"<sigh>YES! I'm sure. Don't give me any ketchup!"
"Thank you, come again!"
(*Drives off, opens bag and sees dozens of ketchup packets covering every square inch*)
Also, what the heck is it anyway? Ketchup or catsup?
See? This is our struggle.
However, based on the number of packets that we usually get each time we hit up a drive-thru, I fear that Americans are being led into another wave of panic buying and fear over something that makes no sense whatsoever. They seem to have plenty to go around, at least for now.
In that instance, may we suggest instead of ketchup packets using one of the 3.5 million Taco Bell hot sauce packets that you received with your last two taco combo?