September 26, 2009 by MrBlueSkies
Reynolds Discontinues the Amazing Handi-Vac Food Storage System!
I have one question beyond the obvious “Why?” and that is: Where are the protesters wrapped in aluminum foil? Where are the supermarket sit ins? Where are the throngs of angry crowds in the streets tossing their freezer burned steaks at the police? Where are the homemakers down on their knees in anguish with their arms stretched up towards the Gods crying out for icicle-free food? And even more important, why wasn’t I alerted before my stash of handi-vac bags had been depleted? Okay, so that’s more than one question. Sue me.
I had found what I believed to be the most handy and useful kitchen appliance/tool since the toaster oven: The Reynolds Handi-Vac Vacuum Food Storage System. The system consists of the Handi-Vac and the Handi-Vac freezer bags. Simply place your food product into the Handi-Vac bag, seal it, and start pumping out the air. Just like those systems that costs hundreds of dollars, this handy $9.99 tool sucked all the air out of the freezer bag, keeping our meats and veggies and just about anything else absolutely freezer burn free for months and months and months and all at a fraction of the cost. We even used it to keep cheese and lunch meats fresher longer. In fact, it kept my scrapple fresh for weeks longer than it would have had I put it in a conventional bag…
Okay, I will admit that it took a little bit of time to get used to using the Handi-Vac properly. If you didn’t have the vacuum head aligned just right with the circle on the bag or if you stuffed the bag too full, it could be difficult to get it to start sucking out the air. And yes, it does use 6 AA batteries. But once you get used to it, it was as easy as can be to get it to work. And the whole time we’ve owned one, and I think it’s been at least a year and a half or longer, we’ve only replaced the batteries once. And boy, does it ever work.
Just take a look at this beautiful steak that was frozen 4 months ago. Do you see any freezer burn? I think not. Take a look in your freezer at something that’s been in there for 4 months–ice crystals galore, right? (Don’t deny it. You even lie to your family, telling them that the ice forms a protective barrier around the food, don’t you?)
And look at this undated chicken–yes, I am lazy and sometimes neglect to label and/or date my frozen food. Sue me, again. But forget all that. That chicken is gorgeous. Looks as good as the day it was put in the freezer, God knows when that was. No dried out, aged-looking skin that happens to chicken when it’s in the freezer too long. You know what I’m talking about. Just remember the frozen chicken you last served your in-laws. Ah, I thought you’d remember.
Now take a look at these beautiful steaks I bought tonight. And on sale for only $4.74/lb. It’s a bargain but I didn’t snatch up a bunch of them because if they sit too long in the freezer, they’ll get all burned up without my Handi-vac bags! It’s criminal to do that to a steak.
So I decided to go on eBay and see if some poor slob was selling a few boxes of Handi-Vac Freezer bags that I could snatch up for cheap. Boy, was I in the shock of a life time. It seems like I am not the only one willing to give up his first born for some freezer burn-free food. (Don’t worry. My daughter never reads this blog, I hope.) Anyway, I was shocked and stunned at the prices. What was retailing for about $2.39 a box in Walmart is now selling on eBay at over $20 a box. And people are bidding on them, a lot. And driving the price up..up..up..and away from my meager pocket book.
See? Thirty eBayers bidding on 6 boxes and the price is almost $130! How can poor slobs like me compete with those kind of prices? I guess I am doomed to either eat my food fresh or step back into the stone age world of freezer burn. And stop, before any of you even mention that other product where you have to pump the air out of the bags, don’t go there. That’s too much pumping for this man. (There’s a very dirty comment in there somewhere but my therapist has informed me that I need to let those things go.)
Anyway, if you feel really bad for me, you could start a writing campaign to Reynolds Corporation demanding that they continue manufacturing the Handi-Vac and the accompanying bags. And if that doesn’t work, maybe I”ll just have to wrap myself in aluminum foil and throw myself on their front lawn screaming, “It burns! It burns! And it doesn’t taste good either!” They might just toss out to me any remaining Handi-Vac bags they’ve got hidden in the corporate office or they might have me arrested, too. But freezer burn-free food is worth that risk!!
UPDATE 9/27/2009 12:52 PM
It’s been less than 24 hours and look at all the ice forming inside my package of beautiful steaks. Damn you, Reynolds Corporation!