A farewell to Quaker

Dear Quaker Oats Megalith,

You might recall that I warned you once before about disguising newfangled “quick” foods as the older, take-an-extra-three-minutes-to-cook-it fare. Well, fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, and I hate you double. That’s right, I accidentally bought those pulverized nubbins you call “Quick Oats,” mistaking them for the whole oats. I made this mistake because the packaging is almost exactly the same. It occurred to me that you do this so parents who are too lazy to stand over the pot a little longer can feel like they are feeding their children the same oats they grew up on. Very clever, Quaker Conglomerate.

You leave me only two options, Quaker Titans of the Food-Products Industry. I can either seek out whatever soulless building passes for your corporate headquarters and force each of you at gunpoint to eat this mush, or I can simply desist altogether from buying Quaker Oats. Since one of my New Year’s resolutions was to avoid any more felonies, I’ll have to opt for the less satisfying alternative.

Consider this my official divorce, Quaker Behemoth, after years of faithful patronage. When my children think back on their oat-eating childhoods, it will be some smaller company’s package that they remember. And when they all go on to lucrative screenwriting careers, it will be this company’s products that get prominently featured. Perhaps you can have a cameo as a wicked corporate giant that foists unwholesome products off on unsuspecting parents and their children. To take a hypothetical example.

In short, Quaker Monstrosity, may you simmer forever in the tepid waters of the lukewarm hell from whence you were spawned.


Tony Woodlief


  1. Sid in Ann Arbor

    I too refuse to buy Quaker Oats products. Instead I buy oatmeal from a mill in Chelsea. tastes a lot better,and takes maybe a couple of minutes longer to cook. Probably is a lot healthier too, since it hasnt been processed, outside of being milled.

  2. Grandma Connierae

    Well said. Since being poisoned with a pesticide in’94, I am unable to eat many of the processed foods my Mother trusted for me and I trusted for my children. I am hoping these companies will return to the integrity they once had when my grandparents began trusting them.

  3. Jordana

    Make the switch to steel cut oats. They do take longer to cook, but they are even yummier and if you buy them in bulk they only run about $.99/lb.

  4. Just Joan

    Yeah, but the empty cartons make fantastic weiner-dogs for craft time! 😀

    Funny, I made that same mistake once and blamed myself for not reading the label more closely — I certainly didn’t blame Q.O.!

    You’re such a guy!

  5. Marc V

    As soon as I read “Dear QO Megalith” I started to chuckle as a rant was sure to follow. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for steel-cut oats, though my family’s consumption of porridge has declined as the younger crew has decided they are “icky” and would rather have cold cereal. Starvation tactics have proved ineffective. It has more to do with texture than taste, so “gussying up” the cooked oats with brown sugar and butter does not help the situation.

  6. T Michelle Doss

    Or, you could go with a less aggressive option and return them to the store for a full refund.

    Just Joan was right on with her “You’re such a guy!” comment.

  7. Renee

    I had this same experience over the holidays! We serve our 4 young ones a lot of hot cereals for breakfast and oatmeal is a favorite (I also suggest hot rice cereal and grits). I bought the quick oats by accident and it caused marital strife, with my husband asking if I’m in such a hurry that I don’t have 3 seconds to stop and read a label in the grocery store. (sigh) The quick oats ended up in the trash and I am more careful now. We have also tried steel cut but the kids don’t really like the texture all that much.

  8. Michale

    Amen, Susan!!

    Try this:
    Take 4 cups of Regular rolled oats, steel cuts, or thick cut oats,place in a large bowl and pour 4 cups water plus 1 tablespoon seasalt in, stir. Do this before you go to bed at night.

    In the am, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, pour in the soaked oats and bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let steam 15 minutes. Stir vigorously (yes, with gusto) and enjoy.

    Feeds the whole family and chickens (ha).

    We buy organic oats at the bulk food store (25 or 50 pounds) West of Hutchinson, twice a year.

  9. greg

    “Since one of my New Year’s resolutions was to avoid any more felonies…”

    I’m glad to see you opted for the high road, but this is only January. It’s going to be a long year if all it takes is oat meal to upset your little universe.

    Um… “any more felonies” …?

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