Great news for starch lovers

Mr. Tidbit sometimes feels bad that he spends so much time pointing out the negative aspects of new food products, so he was happy when he encountered one about which he could be positive.

Argo has replaced the cardboard box of its cornstarch with a resealable plastic cube. If you're thinking "Who cares?" you probably have never used cornstarch. Until now, it came in a cardboard box with a paper liner -- and flyaway cornstarch would make a mildly annoying mess whenever you tried to fold the paper over and reclose the box.

Both the cube and the screw-on cap of Argo's new container are recyclable.


Fresh and pricey

OK, back to complaining. Both Nabisco's Premium saltines and its Honey Maid graham crackers are now available in Fresh Stack packages -- eight (in the box of saltines) and six (in the box of grahams) individually wrapped stacks of crackers. Open one; leave the others sealed for freshness. And both fresh-stack boxes carry the same shelf price as the regular boxes of those crackers.

The catch (you had to know there was one): The regular box of saltines contains 16 ounces of crackers; the fresh-stack box contains 13.6 ounces. The regular box of grahams contains 14.4 ounces; the fresh-stack box contains 12.2 ounces. In both cases that's a per-ounce price increase of 18 percent.


Smile at your sandwich

There's a new development in the world of so-called sandwich thins -- very thin rolls, sliced so each can make a sandwich. From Pepperidge Farm comes Goldfish sandwich bread: goldfish-shaped thin buns, each with a baked-in trademarked smile.