A large number of our current readers are getting here via this post, which has been featured all over the internet in the last week and a half or so. A few days ago, I emailed the company- Small Planet Foods, and asked them if they'd like to comment on, or offer an interview about the tiny broccoli faces. I received, unsurprisingly, (they are owned by General Mills, after all) a pretty canned response:
"Dear Mrs. Carrier:
Thank you for contacting us concerning Cascadian Farm. We appreciate the opportunity to address this matter. Unfortunately, there is no one available for you to interview. However, I have included some information about the history behind the faces.
The tradition of hiding names or faces on Cascadian Farm packaging began over a dozen years ago. It was unspoken tribute by the package design department to the friends & family of Cascadian Farm. The faces won’t be included on our redesigned packaging.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please let us know.
So, that's about it. I'm pretty bummed to hear that they're phasing it out, but I'm not surprised. In fact, Summer and I recently took a field trip to the grocery store so I could pick up my own box of broccoli (Just to hang onto for fun. I'll save the box.) and we did some snooping to see what we could find.
One of the first things we noticed was that they were nearly sold out of the packaged broccoli containing the faces? Coincidence? WHO KNOWS.
I don't think I noted in the original post that the BOXED broccoli was the one with faces- the bags don't have it. In fact, we poked around all over the store, gazing at frozen vegetables, boxed cereal, juice concentrate- all from Cascadian Farm, and the only place we found more faces was the place we expected to. Reader Tim Bennett tipped us off in an email that the Cascadian Farm jam packages also had faces- and sure enough, there they were. MORE CREEPY-ASS BABIES, STARING US DOWN.
Further inspection showed DIFFERENT FACES hiding out in different flavors of jam, but we only ended up buying grape.
Jane Wells, of cnbc.com, insinuated here that Summer and I might have staged the whole thing, photoshopping tiny faces into the images ourselves. While that certainly wouldn't have been too difficult (well, maybe it would be, I'm no photoshop champ), I can assure you that I'm far too lazy to go to that much trouble for a laugh on my blog. All I can offer by way of proof is digital photographs, which I know don't hold much weight these days. Consider this very close-up shot of one of the creepy baby faces, which links to a high-res version on flickr that you can examine to your heart's delight:
Anyway, I'd like to take this opportunity to once again say hello to our new readers, and hope that everyone sticks around for recipes and fun pictures. Speaking of pictures- on a technical note, I took these photographs with my Canon 20D, but since I don't have any fancy macro lenses, I simply stacked my two cheap lenses together to get the close-ups. It's a pretty easy trick and it takes very close-up images. That's where the weird vignetting comes from in some of the pictures, too- the lenses weren't taped together at all or anything, so you can sort of see the shadow of the other lens.
So, there you have it. An "unspoken tribute" (what is that even supposed to mean?) to friends and family of Cascadian Farm, as many commenters have already verified. And that's the last you'll hear from our frozen broccoli packages (I hope.)