Cracking the lid on a stubborn problem – Orange County Register

Eleanor Nelson

Most of us who have retired to Laguna Woods Village have changed some habits to match our new lifestyles. Maybe we don’t give big dinner parties anymore; perhaps we entertain less, and dine out more frequently; maybe the “good” china is still sitting on the top shelf where we put it when we moved in.

But one thing we can’t avoid, if we cook at all, is grocery shopping. I say “if we cook at all” because I know some people who use only the microwave oven, and others who eschew even that for a toaster oven.

“If it doesn’t fit into a toaster oven, I don’t buy it,” one of my friends said recently.

Whatever food you buy, the biggest challenge for me is how to open it once you get it home. Sometimes I think the manufacturers don’t care whether we get at the contents of a package or not, as long as we take it off the store shelf.

Of course some packaging is user-friendly. Thank the helpful companies who put a pull ring on top of the can, or require you only to use a good can opener to get at the contents.

My complaint is with the products whose tops are covered by plastic, like bacon bits. Scissors are useless here, and if you try to use a sharp knife to loosen the plastic, you risk cutting your hand at the same time.

Fortunately, I have a clever husband who has retained enough tools from our former home to cope with any problem. Among his arsenal of openers are pliers, ice picks and razor blades.

We also have a round plastic “can opener” we bought which, when put on top of a jar and twisted vigorously, will open almost anything

But what do homemakers do who have no tools to use on the tops of resistant jars and cans?

I think manufacturers should take another look at the packaging of their products. Instead of worrying that the box or jar will withstand the rigors of shipping, let them put themselves in the shoes of their consumers, who have to get at the contents.

Making the contents of product easily accessible benefits the…

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