Fraud or design

This week I bought a sandwich at the cafeteria at my university. On first sight, it looked pretty good: you can see the burn marks the toaster left on the bun. But then I noticed the guy preparing the sandwiches. He pulled a big plastic bag filled with buns out of the fridge. There were grill lines on all buns. It turns out they were somehow printed on them. When you look a bit closer at the picture you can see that indeed, the lines are purely decorative. They’re not there because the sandwich was pressed between hot plates for a few minutes. They’re there because of some quick industrial process.

This made me wonder. Is this a fraud. Is the cafeteria pretending to sell something it isn’t? Or is it attention to detail? The sandwich looks much better with these stripes. The bun factory didn’t have to add this striping machine to its assembly line. It did so because it makes the sandwich look better. Same thing we do with most of our stuff: add some nice veneer to make it seem like a Good Thing™.

I think it’s a fraud. Like most stuff.