Wednesday, Feb 2, 2000, 1:32am
Ben and Jerry's has fallen so far from grace that they now add corn syrup, or more specifically "high fructose corn syrup", and other nasties like "butter oil" to their ice creams and sorbets. Now, it's not that I mind the existence of products optimized for corporate profit. The corn syrup mafia and save-pennies per ton Nazi-MBA's seems to infect just about all food service businesses in the US eventually. But I do take offense when bastardized products are created at the expense of something else, especially when the thing which has has been lost is somewhat unique. So Bon Voyage Ben and Jerry's! Enjoy you trip down the slippery slope towards the land of corporate mediocracy. Don't bother to send a postcard, I'd rather you didn't have my address anymore anyway.

Tuesday, Feb 8, 2000, 8:17am
Jamba Juice seemed revolutionary the first time I stumbled into one wandering Noe Valley a few years ago. Walking into a stripped down store, ordering something made up of exotica (by East Coast standards anyway). watching it assembled, obliterated in a blender and delivered to me in under two minutes was a cheap thrill. Since then I've sort of come to treat the growing chain like a health food pit-stop while in the San Francisco area. There's even one in the SFO airport, right next to another tolerable fast-service style sushi chain, San Raku. I used to think places like Jamba Juice proved that it was possible to "optimize" a food service to where you could crank out duplicates all over the place, and still offer something high quality and interesting to consumers. But the last few times I've indulged in a Jamba Juice I've been disappointed. The ingredients don't seem as tasty somehow? I since don't think I've gotten pickier, I'm wondering if the quality of the things they are grinding up for those smoothies have changed over the years?