The Survey Grain Of Salt

I came across a survey earlier this week about mom’s and how they prepare school lunches for their small people. Quite frankly I was surprised and even dismayed. You would think that Mom’s, being Mom’s, would be forthright and honest when it comes to a survey. It’s a survey, a poll of a sampling. Isn’t it supposed to be a true barometer of what the larger population thinks? They’re scientific and precise right? There can’t be any variables to take into account can there? I mean Pew surveys and others such like them are always supplying us with the real pulse of the people correct? Without them how would we, say, know how many people are actually texting while driving and applying makeup or eating home cooked meals not takeout, or voting for dick and not jane? We wouldn’t.

No, we rely on them to tell us where we stand on every issue under the sun from social to political to economic and, most importantly, to whether we wear boxers or briefs or whether time is relative or something we just dismiss as a mere annoyance hoping our jeans don’t wear. We have to know if we are running with the pack or blacksheeping ourselves right out of the fold don’t we?

So the dismay I felt at reading this poll I mentioned earlier came from the true dishonesty of it.

Mom Central Consulting surveyed 13-hundred mothers to find out how they shop for their kids’ lunches. Findings:
–90 percent of them worry about what to put in the lunchbox
–86 percent plan out their children’s meals in advance to ensure they eat a variety of healthy foods
–74 percent select items based on their nutritional value
–72 percent buy items with higher nutritional value even if it means spending more money
–79 percent opt for whole grain or enriched bread instead of white bread
–82 percent regularly pack fruit in their children’s lunchboxes
–76 percent opt for portion-controlled snack packs

Where was the 35% of them that checked the expiration date on the meat for that sandwich on stale bread and decided it was close enough?
Or, the 22% who went rummaging, last minute, through their purse for $3 for the school lunch, sometimes even secretly finding the money in the stash of ‘grandma’ dollars in their kid’s sock drawer?
Or, the 75% who hastily grabbed whatever looked edible and threw it in a lunch box with a Mountain Dew and some cookies just before the bus arrived?
Or what about the 12% that thought the kids ate enough at dinner the night before to make it through tomorrow’s lunch break?

The only one that seemed honest was the first on the list about mom’s worrying about what to put in the lunchbox. Well of course! My own lunch box has whatever wasn’t talking to me or crumbling into disappearance but I worry about it.

No, I think in light of Mom’s trying to paint themselves in a better light, we have to take surveys with a grain. A Gibraltar size one. So the next time you see, for instance, a survey that says Sarah Palin is really in tune with the heartbeat of the American people and you actually take it to be truth hit yourself with a brick and then, well just hit yourself with a brick. Then keep in mind that we are hardly ever told the true context of the survey and the responders: who exactly (were they escaped mental patients?), what (are they financially sound or just like the rest of us?), where (online, in the mail, at a mall, at a prison?), why (is it a corporate behemoth trying to justify bleeding us dry?) when (in the middle of a shootout after they had finally been caught?). They are indeed only samplings and don’t necessarily speak for the larger public. Hell right now, however much I’d like to be in line with some of those wishfull thinking answer percentiles from the Mom lunchbox survey, I’m trying to find something for Jagger’s lunch tomorrow that isn’t moving. I didn’t get to the store today and my foot itches. How many of those survey answers took that variable into account?

Note: just kidding on the searching for something that isn’t moving. He has a healthy sandwich and sides in his lunch box for tomorrow and I threw in a Redbull and a 5 hour energy vial just in case he gets drowsy late in the afternoon.

Note 2: just kidding again. I didn’t get to the store for any Redbull.

-fb

Note 3: my foot really does itch by the way

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