Science is important in everyday living. Science is a method of learning or understanding the world around us. Many of us use the scientific method so often that we don’t stop to think about it. The first part of the scientific method is Observation — just looking at it to see what you have. Then comes whatever testing might seem appropriate (in the case below, that would be tasting). And then making some conclusions. It is important to remember the difference between evidence-based objective observations and personal, subjective opinions.
Like this evening, just for example. I discovered I had two pints of Cookies & Cream ice cream — one is Kroger’s house brand, Private Selection, and the other is from a local dairy, Blue Bunny.
Looking at the tops, we can see they are very similar; Private Selection is a little darker, richer looking ice cream, and the cookie chunks appear to be slightly larger. The Blue Bunny is whiter, with somewhat smaller bits of cookie.
But one cannot tell just by looking at the top surface. A real scientist knows he must dig a little deeper:
Ah-HA!!! The Private Selection cookie chunks are larger throughout, 🙂
while the Blue Bunny product offers much smaller bits. 🙁
So far, these are evidence-based conclusions. We can observe the color and texture, and anyone observing would reach the same conclusions.
But there’s more! The Private Selection product tastes better, but that’s a personal and very subjective opinion. (What? You didn’t think I would scoop out samples and not actually eat them, did you?) I also prefer the Private Selection mouth-feel, which again is quite subjective. Cheaper quality ice creams leave a fatty film in my mouth; fortunately Blue Bunny doesn’t do this but there is (to me) a slightly different mouth-feel.
Is one *better* than the other? It’s more a matter of preference rather than *better*. I like the Private Selection product not only for color and texture, as well as taste and mouth-feel. But there is also the expense of acquiring the product.
Blue Bunny is sold at the local corner market. It is always $2.79 a pint, or 2/$5.00.
Private Selection pints are always $1.79 at Kroger, but often 3/$5.00. Definitely the better price. Plus, as a Kroger product I get 10% senior discount. And yesterday when I went, I had a 40¢ coupon for 1 pint! So, I got it for $1.79 – $0.17 – $0.40 = $1.22. I am pretty sure $1.22 is better than $2.50.
I will not walk all the way to Kroger just for ice cream. If I don’t need anything else, but just want ice cream, I will take my insulated lunch kit to the corner market and get two pints, which fit perfectly.