I'm obsessed with the way foods are named.
Chilean sea bass, for example, is really Patagonian tooth fish.
Order Patagonian tooth fish the next time you want Chilean sea bass. Please?
My list of poorly named foods is extensive.
It includes pulled pork, bread pudding, blood oranges, and field greens.
But I have discovered the worst name for a food in all of human history:
Think about that for a minute. The liquid that parents use in place of breast milk to provide sustenance to their infants and ensure their caloric intake is called formula.
Formula: a word that already existed and was in frequent use when formula was invented in the early twentieth century and had absolutely nothing to do with food or nutrition.
- We had mathematical formulas like for the area of a triangle: (b × h)/2
- We had the chemical formulas for products such as strychnine, a deadly poison: C21H22N2O2
- We had the trinitarian formula: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit
- We had Formula One racing
None of these definitions evoke the kind of thoughts you want when it comes to feeding a baby.
Formula is a terrible name. It implies artificiality and chemical concoctions. It makes one think of laboratories and math textbooks and chemistry exams. It promotes images of magical potions and Frankenstein and rocket fuel. It's a word used to name a cleaning product (Formula 409) and a skin care line. It's a word used in devising corporate strategies and to describe novels filled with expected tropes.
It's a word that separates the breast milk replacement product from anything maternal or natural or nurturing.
And there were so many better options. My plan was to list a bunch here, both amusing and realistic, but my wife proposed the best one, making the rest look ridiculous.
It's perfect. Even much better than the Similac or Enfamil name brands which attempt to avoid the word formula altogether (and fail miserably).
It's cute. Accurate. Catchy. Natural sounding. Fun to say.
Try to say "baby juice" without smiling. It's hard.
And yes, the name is already being used on an existing product (further reinforcing the excellence of the name), but I don't care. It's the perfect replacement name for the worst name for a food in all of human history.