Speaking of despair

It would be lovely to have a word for an emotion, a grief, unique to those living in capitalist consumer cultures. Specifically, the sadness one experiences when one discovers that one's favorite product is no longer manufactured. Yes, I'm thinking of you, my dearest departed Morningstar Farms Thai Flavor Veggie Burgers. And, to a lesser extent, I think also of you, Diet Coke with Splenda. And you, my Slim-fast chocolate chip cookie dough meal bars, who were no mere sop to the dieter, but a treat in and of yourself.

First comes denial: maybe they just ran out! And anger: why don't they re-order? Like, really? Then, finally acceptance.

A related feeling is the pain of discovering that the new and improved version of one's product is not at all improved. Instead it is a lesser shadow of its former glory, tantalizing you with a reminder of what had once been (Yes, you, Prescriptives foundation)

If anyone wants to come up with a name for this emotion, I look forward to reading it in the comments!


  1. Hey, if your grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, don't eat it. Seriously. Slim-fast chocolate chip cookie dough meal bars? The name itself tells you that it cannot possibly contain human nutrition. We'll all be healthier when we can just run a wire to the taste-pleasure center of our brains. Until then, I'm using dark chocolate or small amounts of Ardbeg. Because I'm weak.

    The emotion? Obsolescenangst? Nah. The fear of new-and-not-improved? Kainophobia? Maybe. If I get anything, I'll let you know.

  2. I prefer Caol Ila, but you're on the right track with Ardbeg, GJ. Elizabeth, I think you'll find that these are perfectly good substitutes for almost all of your food cravings.

  3. I am totally in sympathy with your whole foods preferences for reasons of health and taste, and am usually pretty rigorous about it. Then every so often, I have junk food jags. Nothing will satisfy but the manufactured food-like substances. My akrasia.