Monday, August 06, 2007


Dear Ms Regatta Lunch Snack Organizer,

Thanks for giving up your free time to help run this regatta for us. I appreciate that you are a volunteer and
that you are probably not a Laser sailor yourself. I really appreciate that the regatta organizers saw fit to spend some of our entry fees to buy on-the-water lunches for us every day and I want to thank you for volunteering to head up the team buying all the food and packing it in plastic bags for us and then handing it out to us on the water every day.

Having said all that (and I do appreciate you, I really do, and I have been in your shoes and once made a huge mistake in this capacity myself) could I please offer one suggestion...

Smuckers processed peanut butter and grape jelly Uncrustables are not suitable lunch snacks for Laser sailors.

Here are a few reasons...

1. They taste vile.

2. They are intended for little kids, not finely tuned adult athletes like us.

3. They taste vile.

4. They contain way too much fat and way too little carbohydrate to be a satisfactory snack for someone undertaking vigorous physical exercise.

5. They taste vile.

6. They are a processed food made in a factory.

7. They taste vile.

Can I suggest that before your yacht club hosts this regatta again you have a chat with the folks at Brant Beach Yacht Club in New Jersey about how to provide sustenance on the water for Laser sailors. At the Atlantic Coast Laser Championships a couple of years ago they had a large catamaran moored on the direct line between the finish and start lines of the trapezoid course. There were several people positioned on the transom of this catamaran handing out energy bars and fruit and water between every race. That's what we really need. Healthy food that tastes good and provides the fuel we need frequently. Not processed junk kiddie food.

Sorry to be so blunt. I think that's all for now. Thanks for volunteering to provide us with lunch. Hope the feedback is helpful. I appreciate all your efforts. I really do.

Update: I have been asked to point out, for anyone reading this post on or after August 13, that it does not refer to the 2007 Laser US Nationals hosted by Malletts Bay Boat Club, Vermont from August 10-12. The post was originally published on August 6 and even I cannot tell the future.


Tim Coleman said...

Bananas! Nothing beats them! And don't forget the water (even more important)

merrifie said...

"Untouchables"? Sounds weird... even for kid food. So, how'd they taste? Did you like em? Were they delicious? You didn't mention that part. If you did I missed it... Taste is important when you're an adult athlete undertaking vigorous physical exercise and ingest processed food!

bonnie said...

I almost can't believe that these exist. That's amazing.

I can just hear a million frazzled parents across America saying "Thank you, Smuckers, for making the peanut butter and jelly sandwich so easy - it was always such a messy, time-consuming hassle of a chore before".

Oh, and can you picture the brainstorming session where they thought that one up?

Wow. Mind is all a-boggle!

Tillerman said...

Yeah -- I'd never heard of them before.

Believe it or not, the Uncrustable is actually an example used in teaching patent law at law school (so my son tells me). Smuckers tried to patent the idea of a sandwich with no crusts and crimped edges. And high-priced lawyers spent many hours debating whether the idea is obvious or not.

In any case, obvious or not, they still taste vile.

bonnie said...

ps - ok shameless plug time - please come by and laugh at how easy it is to make a total newbie happy!

I was really quite ludicrously pleased with myself!

Anonymous said...

See the patent (which is no longer valid) here: US 6,004,596.

In 1999, United States Patent 6,004,596 was issued to Len Kretchman and David Gesked. This patent disclosed an improved crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The patent was widely ridiculed in the media as an example of something that should never have been granted a patent. Nonetheless, The J.M. Smucker Company (“Smucker’s”) licensed the patent, and introduced the “Uncrustables™” brand of frozen no crust sandwiches. The brand was an instant success, and Smucker’s, according to their website, invested close to $20 million to start up a factory in Scottsville, Kentucky to produce the product. In 2005, Smucker’s sold $60 million worth of “Uncrustables™. The trouble started when Smucker’s began sending out cease and desist letters to enforce their purported intellectual property rights. In 2001, Albie’s Food, Inc., a small grocery and caterer in Gaylord, Michigan, received such a cease and desist letter. Instead of rolling over on their crust, Albie’s took the matter to federal court and further filed a request for ex parte reexamination with the USPTO. After extensive reexamination proceedings where the claims of the PB&J patent were rejected, amended, rejected again and appealed to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, the BPAI reversed the examiner’s rejections but found new reasons for rejection. A quick look at the public file history in Public PAIR shows that a Notice of Intent to issue an ex parte reexamination certificate was mailed on December 8, 2006, which shows that all pending claims have been cancelled.

bonnie said...

My gosh. That's an awful lot of legal brainpower (and fees) to be spending on peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

Particularly when I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that they taste vile.

Gosh, where was that I read that again...can't quite recall...

Tillerman said...

As we used to say in England, "Where there's money there's lawyers." Or was it, "Where there's muck there's brass"?

Anonymous said...

BBYC loves hosting regattas! Next week we will be doing the Sunfish Worlds followed by the Laser ACC's and Opti ACC's in 2008. The on the water approach started in 2002 with the Laser NAs and has continued. We also always try to do a high protein "Full" breakfast. We have PB&J with bread available if a sailor must have a sandwich on the water. The concept came from a club member who still coordinates all the breakfasts and is the Director of Nutrition and Food Distribution for the State of NJ. She simply decided that "Crustables" or "Hoagies" on the water with Cookies and a fruit drink was bad nutrition for an Athlete. Now, if we could only get the Opti Moms to agree to the concept!

bowsprite said...

do they float? could it be that you were not meant to eat them? were they markers?

Anonymous said...

Uncrustables are so delicious!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are an ungreatful person. Bring your own power bar or banana next time and make a polite suggestion instead of being a sarcastic @$$. I'm sure you think you are making the world a better place, but no matter how many times you say you appreciate someone, when you act like an @$$ you just piss people off. Uncrustables look like they provide a good mix of simple sugars, complex carbohydrates, proteins and fat which are all essential to an athlete. Its not perfect but a good athlete would make due with what he/she is given and not act like baby (which is ironic since one of your arguments was that this food is for children). Not to mention that your "tastes vile" comment might be in the minority considering this product has made millions of dollars. On a side note, that was some excellent info from Litoralis.


Anonymous said...

No one has heard of Pierre's creating a "Jamwich" which is basically an Uncrustable?? Without a patent Pierre's was able to offer a very similar product. Yes, Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches are easy to make but Smuckers is selling them already made. Convenient for busy mom's or kids on the go. They really are not that bad for you, they have the required school guideline nutrition. I would agree with ungrateful...if you are receiving free food why complain?

Anonymous said...

Uncrustables are amazing. Not what you need I get that. But they're not vile. Idiota.

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