Christina likes to say I’ve by no means made her the identical meal twice. That’s not true, after all, as a result of typically we now have leftovers. However after ten years of cooking for our family, I’ll take the praise. Selection is the spice of life, in any case. Nonetheless, a cook dinner has to have his staples, his go-to weeknight meals, the form of fare that requires minimal effort, however delivers most pleasure. That’s why the Roman god Bacchus, who glided by Dionysus in his formative, Greek years, invented pizza.
Every time I’m on the market, I purchase a frozen pizza, simply to be protected. Keep in mind, relating to having frozen pizzas helpful, a reliable dwelling cook dinner is aware of that two is one and one is none.
Normally, I purchase Daiya’s frozen pizza as a result of I prefer to eat plant-based, Christina thinks their meat alternate options are surprisingly good for “pretend meat,” and compromise is a giant a part of marriage. However on a current journey to the market, a stranger requested me to rethink my pizza buy.
“Have you ever tried The Pizza Plant?” the stranger requested.
I’d by no means heard of that model, and at first I wasn’t positive if he meant “plant” within the natural sense, or the commercial sense. However I didn’t need to be impolite, so I performed alongside.
“I don’t suppose so. Is it any good?”
“The Pizza Plant is nice,” the stranger mentioned. “We’re natural, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, plant-based. We develop pizza! That’s our tagline.”
“Nice tagline,” I mentioned. “I want pizza grew on bushes. If it did, we’d do one thing about deforestation.”
“You’re involved concerning the surroundings,” he mentioned.
“In fact. It’s not like Earth is a rental.”
The stranger laughed.
“Nicely, you don’t have to fret about us,” he mentioned. “Our packaging is a hundred percent recyclable.”
“What about your operation? Is it carbon impartial?”
“Nice query! I don’t know the reply, however I can guarantee you we’re doing every little thing we will to reduce our impression whereas constructing a sustainable enterprise.”
I knew that was a imprecise promise, one I’d heard from numerous ads. Nonetheless, I used to be intrigued. On the one hand, this might all be a greenwashing—a shameless try by a shady pizza model to money in on my values with a intelligent advertising and marketing pitch. Then again, what did I actually know concerning the different frozen pizza manufacturers and their carbon footprints? Perhaps there was no such factor as an environmentally aware frozen pizza. If that was the case, I wasn’t so positive I’d need to know the reality. As a result of whereas I’m prepared to sacrifice to save lots of the planet and humanity, I’m not prepared to surrender on pizza evening. Higher to stay in ignorance, I assumed. And whereas dwelling in ignorance, I would as properly get pleasure from a pizza that comes with a facet of smug superiority. However was The Pizza Plant pie tasty? That was the one actual query.
“And also you’re saying your pizza is best than Daiya?” I requested.
“Sure! Method higher.”
“Do you’ve got any samples?”
“We’re not doing samples due to COVID.”
“Hey, I’m not doing a whole lot of issues due to COVID.”
“However at the moment is your fortunate day, my buddy.”
Immediately, we had been associates, which gave me a heat feeling standing there within the frozen meals part.
“We now have a BOGO,” the stranger mentioned.
“Purchase one, get one free. BOGO!”
“Oh, BOGO is lingo.”
“That’s proper, BOGO is lingo. We’re the identical value as Daiya, however due to the BOGO, it’s truly half-off. You’ll be able to’t lose!”
He had me at half-off, which is to say, he had me at BOGO, though I wasn’t hip to the lingo. The one factor I like greater than pizza and performative environmentalism is a deal.
“Why don’t you give it a strive?”
With out ready for a solution, the stranger walked to the freezer case, grabbed two of the The Pizza Plant pies, and handed them to me.
“They’ll apply the low cost on the checkout. That’s two pizzas for the value of 1.”
“You’re welcome. Let me understand how you just like the pizza.”
“Do you’re employed for The Pizza Plant? Or, do you’ve got a kind of jobs the place you pitch totally different merchandise? It’s OK if it’s the latter. I gained’t be upset if I see you hawking Daiya the following time I’m right here, particularly if there’s a BOGO.”
“I work for The Pizza Plant,” he mentioned. “I’m the advertising and marketing director.”
Advertising director!? Holy shit. I wasn’t precisely speaking to Mr. Massive Pizza, however I wasn’t coping with Small Slice both. Proper then and there, I made a decision I wanted to level-up my small speak.
“I’ll be curious to see how your model stacks up in opposition to Daiya,” I mentioned. “They’re the model to beat in our family.”
“They’re good, we’re higher.”
I needed to admire the stranger’s confidence. Really, since he labored within the shopper packaged items business, a part of me questioned if the stranger may get into the enterprise of bottling and distributing his personal private model of confidence. I’d purchase it, assuming there was a BOGO.
“We’ve tried a whole lot of totally different pizzas previously yr,” I mentioned. “Daiya is our favourite, however there’s a whole lot of good things occurring within the frozen pizza part today.”
The stranger nodded enthusiastically as if I had mentioned the magic phrases.
“Pizza is essentially the most thrilling factor within the meals house,” he mentioned.
“Oh sure. There’s tons of enterprise capital pouring into the house.”
“For frozen pizza?”
“Pizza is a giant deal.”
“Certain, but it surely’s pizza… not precisely reinventing the wheel.”
“You’d be stunned. The good cash is chasing the highest pizza innovators. The very best brains on the planet are engaged on frozen pizza options, from gluten-free, to vegan, to various meats and cheeses! And don’t overlook what’s occurring with cauliflower. The standard cauliflower plant is having an actual second.”
For a time, we talked about cauliflower, the way it had “disrupted” rice, and the way it was doing the identical factor to frozen pizza. Ultimately, our chat about new frozen pizza “options” and the “good cash” chasing frozen pizza riches died down. We mentioned our goodbyes, and I went to the checkout line. However our dialog lived rent-free in my head for weeks. Listed below are a number of the questions that saved gnawing at me.
With all this enterprise capital flying round, are we in a pizza bubble?
If it’s a bubble, are we early within the bubble, and if that’s the case, how do I get in on the pizza bubble, make a fortune, then get out in time to protect my fortune?
What if the pizza bubble seems to be larger than all the opposite bubbles I preserve listening to about?
Will I get up one morning and see the speaking heads on CNBC yammering away about how the pizza bubble crashed the financial system, leaving everybody, besides members of Congress and Goldman Sachs, too broke to afford the pizzas sitting of their freezers?
Will Adam McKay make a film that explains the pizza bubble?
Will half of Twitter argue with the opposite half of Twitter about whether or not or not Adam McKay’s pizza bubble film is definitely humorous?
Many years after we recuperate from the pizza bubble, will there be an environmental reckoning for frozen pizza, both as a result of frozen pizza turned out to have an enormous carbon footprint, or as a result of the pizza bubble mind drain distracted us from fixing actual issues, or each?
If he’s nonetheless alive when that reckoning comes, will Al Gore activate pizza and make a documentary referred to as The Inconvenient Fact… About Pizza?
Will the children of the longer term congregate in Metaverse film theaters to look at Al Gore’s pizza documentary, then flip their digital pitchforks on folks like me?
Will these children settle for my BOGO rationalization, or will they shout “OK, Xer,” earlier than murdering my pizza-loving ass and bringing the top of Michael Estrin to a carbon-neutral NFT-minting platform?
For a time, an irrational concern of bubbles and the reckonings they carry saved me from opening our freezer. However one chilly, wet weeknight, I noticed that our fridge was working on empty.
“What’s for dinner?” Christina requested.
I checked the pantry to see if I may improvise a fast pasta, or perhaps make a kind of rice bowls which can be so trendy today. However the pickings had been slim, so I went to the freezer.
“It’s pizza evening,” I mentioned.
“Pizza evening! Giddy-up, cowboy.”
“Why does this pizza look totally different?” Christina requested as we sat all the way down to eat.
“It’s a brand new model,” I mentioned. “This random dude, truly he wasn’t a random dude, he was the director of selling for this frozen pizza firm, chatted me up on the market.”
“The director of selling was simply hanging out on the market?”
“They’re small. A startup, I feel. There’s a whole lot of enterprise capital within the frozen pizza house.”
I made a decision to maintain my fears concerning the frozen pizza bubble and any potential reckoning to myself. Why spoil pizza evening?
“Anyway, he satisfied me to present this model an opportunity.”
“How did he persuade you?”
“Yeah. Did he have samples?”
“So he simply talked a very good sport?”
“Nicely… sure. And in addition, there was a BOGO.”
“Purchase one, get one free.”
“You understand about BOGO?”
“I do know all of the lingo, honey.”
“Additionally, you’ll be able to’t resist a deal. I do know you higher than you understand your self, honey.”
Christina took a chew of her pizza.
“Nicely… how is it?”
Christina chewed, swallowed, then took one other chew. This time, she made a bitter face.
“You don’t prefer it?” I requested.
“Sure, actually. The advertising and marketing direct appeared honest about suggestions.”
“The dangerous information is it sucks,” Christina mentioned.
“What’s the excellent news?”
“This one was free.”
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