Editorials

We don’t need Lady Doritos. We need quieter chips for everyone

Doritos, shown here in a 2014 file photo, could be in for the “silent treatment” if PepsiCo’s plans for a Lady Doritos version take off.
Doritos, shown here in a 2014 file photo, could be in for the “silent treatment” if PepsiCo’s plans for a Lady Doritos version take off. AP

For a moment, swallow your outrage over the “Lady Doritos” controversy and ponder this: How does PepsiCo. plan to make crispy chips sound less crunchy?

If it involves making them a little less crisp, then not only is that a really sexist, stupid and regressive idea — hello, 1950s! — it’s also a sacrilege to do that to a food as tasty as the Dorito.

But if it actually is in the power of food manufacturers to give chips the silent treatment —without sacrificing their crispiness — why don’t they make quieter chips for everyone?

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We’re not talking just Doritos; quiet down those potato chips and pretzels, too. Then work your magic on popcorn, please.

It doesn’t really matter if it’s a man or woman doing the chomping — if you’re sitting next to someone in an office or on a living room couch or in a movie theater who’s chewing in your ear, IT’S ANNOYING (unless you happen to be eating, too).

This is no small thing. Loud eating — along with eating smelly food — can lead to workplace conflicts. (Of course, neither ranks nearly as high as the ultimate food-related workplace sin: “borrowing” other people’s food from the communal refrigerator.)

So what to do while we’re waiting for those gender-neutral, noise-reduced chips to come along?

Here are some suggestions on the polite way to eat crunchy foods in company, from the Lifehacks Stack Exchange website:

▪ “Make sure your mouth is closed completely. You can bite slowly, which might sound quieter, though it is really just enlongating the sound.”

▪ “Try using your tongue instead of your teeth for the first break of the chip, (it’s) fun and not as noisy.”

▪ “This trick only really works with chips, and might also be a bit unappetizing. Put the chip in your mouth, and don’t bite it right away. Let it soften a little from your saliva. It won’t taste quite as crunchy, but it also won’t sound as crunchy.”

▪ “For chips, crisps, tortillas and etc., press them against the roof of your mouth using your tongue. The softness of the tongue will help to suppress the crunch noise. Then eat normally. Those food shapes are specially engineered to do the crunch sound, so that’s a quiet way to get rid of the shape first (before) eating.”

▪ “... offer some chips (etc.) to your workmates before snacking. Explain they are welcome to any and apologize for any ‘ravenous munchings’ they might overhear from your cube. Then devour like a Cookie Monster. They’ll find you charming & amusing.”

Or, you could always eat a banana instead.

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