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Chow down with Chia

March 2, 2012
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

I don't care what they say, I'm not eating my Chia pet.

You heard me.

Doesn't seem like something a person would have to deal with outside of some summer camp initiation, does it?

And yet, in this strange country of ours, I am now being told by some actors that fell out of an Eddie Bauer catalog that the next great revolution in American medicine is eating the seeds that come with a Chia pet.

Apparently these seeds contain ... I'm not really sure. I couldn't pay attention to the health benefits of a product after I heard the announcer say "Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!"

Really, Chia people? You want people to take this ludicrous idea of eating the seeds that come with a plastic ram, hippo, or President Obama as a serious health product? Maybe it would have been a good idea to not have the "Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!" in the commercial.

I think I can safely say that eating Chia pet seeds is, at least, a new direction for the good people at Chia; so why run the jingle that makes people think "Oh, those plastic toys that you see on the shelf at dated general stores and interstate truckstops."

When America's REAL President, Mr. Tom Hanks, makes a new movie you don't hear a growly voiced narrator during the trailer say "from the star of "Joe vs. The Volcano" and "The Man With One Red Shoe.""

No, you don't.

It's as if there is some windowless room filled with the mad scientists of marketers, laughing manically about which worthless product they'll try to convince people to buy next.

Right now there is probably someone with very little in their life getting increasingly angry at the very notion that these seeds are anything but a miraculous wonder foodish product.

To that person: You have been tricked. Were you really so hard up for a foul tasting, gritty health food that you had to turn to Chia pet seeds? Have you even tried Kashi?

Can you imagine a kid in the 21st century being excited by a Chia pet?

Aside from wondering where to dock their iPhone or accusing the owner of using nonsustainable planting methods I?can't imagine a kid even caring that Chia pets existed.

Now the Chia warehouse is overflowing with plastic animals and seed, millions of pounds of seed. What do you do with it?

So now the available market has shifted from away from children and to the only two groups self-obsessed enough to burn their money during a recession: Nostalgia obsessed Baby Boomers and jaded Gen-Xers.

The Gen-Xers might love irony, but there are enough 80s cartoons and mustache styles to keep these vapid wastes of space occupied until Empire Records comes out on Blu Ray.

Baby Boomers? They do have a tendency to think everything they have ever done was better than how it is now or how it was ever done before, so they make an attractive candidate.

But the Baby Boomer generation is aging; they spend less and less time pouring water into plastic animals and more time worrying about how to spend billions of dollars on allegedly "healthy" food that no one in their right mind would eat ...

Boomers it is!

So eat up guys, somebody has to keep eating these seeds until Chia comes up with another way to market them to kids. And if you eat enough of them maybe they'll just start marketing other, previously unedible products as food. I've heard Monopoly money is great for the digestive track.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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